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3  1833  02300  2782  I   977.201 


REYNOLD^   ;;         ■■      '-AL  I    1222026 




Parke  and  Vermillion  Counties 

With  Historical  Sketches  of  Representative  Citizens  and 
Genealogical    Records  of  Many  of  the   Old    Families 






This  Work  is  respectfully  dedicated  to 


long  since  departed.    May  the  memory  of  those  who  laid  down  their  burdens 

by  the  wayside  ever  be   fragrant   as  the  breath  of  summer 

flowers,  for  their  toils  and  sacrifices  have  made 

Parke  and  Vermillion  counties  a  garden 

of  sunshine  and  delights. 


All  life  and  achievement  is  evolution;  present  wisdom  comes  from  past 
experience,  and  present  commercial  prosperity  has  come  only  from  past  exer- 
tion and  suffering.  THe  deeds  and  motives  of  the  men  who  ha\e  gone  before 
have  been  instrumental  in  shaping  the  destinies  of  later  communities  and 
states.  The  development  of  a  new  country  was  at  once  a  task  and  a  privi- 
lege. It  required  great  courage,  sacrifice  and  privation.  Compare  the  pres- 
ent conditions  of  the  people  of  Parke  and  VermilHon  counties,  Indiana,  with 
what  they  were  one  hundred  years  ago.  From  a  trackless  wilderness  and 
virgin  land,  it  has  come  to  be  a  center  of  prosperity  and  civilization,  with  mil- 
lions of  wealth,  systems  of  railways,  grand  educational  institutions,  splendid 
industries  and  immense  agricultural  and  mineral  productions.  Can  any  think- 
ing person  be  insensible  to  the  fascination  of  the  study  which  discloses  the 
aspirations  and  efforts  of  the  early  pioneers  who  so  strongly  laid  the  founda- 
tion upon  which  has  been  reared  the  magnificent  prosperity  of  later  days? 
To  perpetuate  the  story  of  these  people  and  to  trace  and  record  the  social, 
political  and  industrial  progress  of  the  community  from  its  first  inception 
is  the  function  of  the  local  historian.  A  sincere  purpose  to  preserve  facts 
and  personal  memoirs  that  are  deserving  of  perpetuation,  and  which  unite 
the  present  to  the  past,  is  the  motive  of  the  present  publication.  The  work 
has  been  in  the  hands  of  able  writers,  who  have,  after  much  patient  study 
and  research,  produced  here  the  most  complete  biographical  memoirs  of 
Parke  and  Vermillion  counties  e\-er  offered  to  tlie  public.  A  specially  valuable 
and  interesting  department  is  that  devoted  to  the  sketches  of  representative 
citizens  of  this  county  whose  records  deserve  preservation  because  of  their 
worth,  effort  and  accomplishment.  The  publishers  desire  to  extend  their 
thanks  to  the  gentlemen  who  have  so  faithfully  labored  to  this  end.  Thanks 
are  also  due  to  the  citizens  of  Parke  and  ^^ermillion  counties  for  the  uniform 
kindness  with  which  they  have  regarded  this  undertaking  and  for  their  many 
services  rendered  in  the  gaining  of  necessary  information. 

In  placing  the  "History  of  Parke  and  Vermillion  Counties.  Indiana." 
before  the  citizens,  the  publishers  can  conscientiously  claim  that  they 
have  carried  out  the  plan  as  outHned  in  the  prospectus.  Every  biographi- 
cal sketch  in  the  work  has  been  submitted  to  the  party  interested,  for  correc- 
tion, and  therefore  any  error  of  fact,  if  there  be  any,  is  solely  due  to  the 
person  for  whom  the  sketch  was  prepared.  Confident  that  our  efforts  to 
please  will  fully  meet  the  approbation  of  the  public,  we  are. 






Father  iMiirquette— The  Illinois  IikUiius— Vo.vjise  of  Joliet— Feniiimlo  de  8oto 
.•md  His  Cavjiliers — Settlement  of  SlJauish  in  Florichi— Retraeiii,i;  of  the  Steps 
of  Early  Explorers — Readies  Wisconsin — The  Portage —  Jleeting  of  the  In- 
dians— Kaskaskia  Discovered— La  Salle's  Explorations — Father  Hennepin— 
Bnildinj;  of  Fort  Miamis— Termination  of  War  with  England— The  Northwest 
Territory — Act  of  Congress  Making  a  Division  Inelnding  Indiana.  .M.iy  7.  1780. 


The  Various  Indian  Tribes — Delawares — Pottawatomies— .Miamis— De.scription 
of  Tribes  .and  tlie  Country — A  Transformation — Geology  of  Parke  County — 
Harrison's  Trail. 


An  Earl.v-day  Description  of  the  County — Concerning  the  First  Settler— Set- 
tlement of  Jame.s  Dot.v — Those  Who  Came  in  1S22— I^.iter  Settlements— New 
Discovery — Character  of  the  Pioneers. 


Act  of  Organization  of  the  County — Count.v-scat  Locating  Committee — Rivalry 
for  Seat  of  Ju.stice — Temporary  County  Seats — County  Go\ernment — Agents 
Sell  Town  Lots — Various  Court  Houses  and  .Tails— Erection  of  Present  County 
Buildings — Contents  of  Box  in  Corner-stone — Finances — Assessed  Valuation 
by  Townships — The  Asylum  for  the  Poor — Early  Court  Indictments. 


State  Representatives— Clerks — Sheriffs— Recorders — Auditors— Treasurers- 
Coroners — Assessors — Surveyors — Judges — Common  Pleas  .Tndges— Probate 
Judges — Pre,sent  Bar  of  Parke  County — Court  Officers  in  1012. 


Causes  of  the  Civil  War — Lincoln's  First  Call  for  Jlen— First  Enrollment  .it 
Rockville — List  of  All  Companies  and  Regiments  from  Parke  County — Hundred- 
day  Men  and  Veterans— Cavalry — Artillery— Infantry — McCune  Cadets — Na- 
tional Guard — An  Old  Jlexican  War  Soldier— The  War  with  Spain. 


Protestant  and  Catholic  Elements  in  Pioneer  Day.s— Baptists — Presbyterians — 
United  Presbyterians — Christian  Churclies — The  Jlethodist  Episcopal  Denom- 
ination— African  Methodist  Episcopal — Lorenzo  Dow  at  Rockville — United 
Brethren— Lutherans— Roman  Catholic— Society  of  Friends- -Hicksites—T'ni- 



Masonic  Order — Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows— Paushters  of  Reliekah — 
Knights  of  Pythias— Grand  Army  of  the  Republic. 


First  and  Later  Newspapers — The  Whig  Party  Organs — "Olive  Branch,"  a 
Noted  Publication — History  of  the  "Tribune"  and  the  "Republican"  of  Today — 
Democratic  and  Independent  Papers — Present  Newspapers  of  the  County. 


Cases  Prior  to  the  Civil  War — Liberty  Township  Crimes — The  Celebrated  Beau- 
champ  Case— Killing  of  Nillis  Hart  at  Montezuma — Killing  of  Mrs.  Vollmer  of 
Rockville — Killing  of  Oscar  P.  Lill — Terrible  Deed  by  Insane  Man — Sheriff  Mull, 
With  His  Deputy  and  Others  Killed. 


Democrats  and  Whigs  Pitted  Against  Each  Other — Trouble  Over  the  Canal — 
The  National  Road  Difficulty — Hard  Times  Come  on— Election  Returns- 
Presidential  Votes  Since  Lincoln. 



Products  of  County  a  Third  of  a  Century  Ago — Coal  Mined — Turnpike  and 
Gravel  Roads — Agricultural  Societies  at  Montezuma,  Rockville,  Bridgeton  and 


Local  Railroad  History — Present  Railroad  Mileage  in  Parke  County — Coal  Min- 
ing— Early  Mines — Present  Operations  and  Output — Accidents — Prices — Com- 
l)anies  Operating— Banking  History  of  Parke  County — B,-\uk  Building  and  Old 
National  Hall — Its  Burning  and  the  New  Building— Present  Banks— Village 
Plats— Population  of  County — Witness  Trees — Records  Burned — Legal  Execu- 
tions— Taxation  List  of  1S33— Soldier,*'  Reunion — JIarket  Quotations— Days  of 
Public  Mourning  in  Parke  County. 


Establishment  by  Legislative  Act — Location  and  Legislative  Commission — 
Buildings — Mode  of  Treatment — Results. 


Donation  of  Lands  to  County— First  Settlers  on  Plat — Wallace  Ray,  the  Pioneer 
Hotel  Keeper  and  Postmaster — Saw-mills  .md  Factories — Pottery — Woolen 
Mills — Destructive  Fires — Poor  Fire-tighting  Apparatus — Opera  Houses — Incor- 
poration of  Town — Water  Works  and  Lighting  Plant— A'olunteer  Fire  Comiiany 
—Industries— Advent  of  the  Colored  People — Cemetery-. 


Early  Settlers — Early  Hardships — A  Noteworthy  Incident — Development  .-md 
Present  Condition  of  the  Township — Assessed  Valn.Mtiou — Poiuilation   in   I'.tlo. 


Location— Old  Canal — Population— Valuation  at  Present— Name  of  Township- 
Early  Settlers — Villages— Roseville — Num;i— Clinton  Lock— Itosedale— .lessup — 
West  Athertou — Coxville. 



Location  and  Topograi)h,y — Railroads — Population— Valuation  of  I'miPfity— In- 
dian Days  and  Wild  Game — Early  Settlement— Jlills— Villages  of  I'.iikville— 
Liquor  Stills. 


Boundaries — Topography — Naming  of  Townsliip — Early  Settlenieiil — IMoncer 
Milling — Present  Conditions — Population  of  tlie  Township. 


Nauiing  of  Township — Geography  and  Topography — First  Settlers — Early  Sur- 
veyors—First Births— .Vssosscd  Valuation— Population— Vi  I  iMges—Manstield— 


Location — Streams — Population — Assessed  Valuation — Pioneer  Settlers — Rela- 
tions with  the  Indians — Old  Tanyard — First  Teaclier — I'Jarly  Prices— Pioneer 
Church — Early  Saw-mill — Old  Grave-yard — Indian  Remains— Villages — Lodi- 
ville — Old  Westport — Sylvania — Tangier. 


Size  and  Location — Assessed  Valuation — Population — Soil  and  Products — Gravel 
Roads— The  Quakers — First  Pioneers — Villages — Annapolis — Bloouiingda  le 
(Bloomfield) — The  Academy — Early  Industries — Cloth-making — Prices  for 
Spinning  and  Weaving — The  Old  Fulling  Mill — First  Saw-mill  and  Grist-mill — 
A  Pioneer  Foundry — The  Old  Cast  Plows— Flat-boat  Building. 


Name — Boundary — Large  Farms — Fine  Timber-land — Population — Assessed  Val- 
uation— Early  Settlement — Indians — Farm  Implements  Used  by  the  Pioneers- 
Deer  Plentiful- Flat-boat  Building- First  Schools—  Death— First  Wed- 
ding— Towns  and  Milages — Montezuma — Colma — Canal  and  Railroad  Days — 
Population — ^Assessed  Valuation — Railroad  Shops — Old  Flouring  Mill — Business 
Interests  of  1912 — Corporation  History— Water  and  Light  Plants. 


Big  and  Little  Raccoon  as  Known  to  Indians — Great  Forests — Reclaimed  Lands 
— Early  Settlement — Milling — Villages— Catlin—Bridgeton — Diamond  -  Early 
Corn  Crackers  and  Mills — Milk  Sickness — Population — Assessed  Valuation. 


Area — Streams^-Assessed  Valuation — Population — First  Settlement — Jlilling  In- 
terests— First  Meeting-house — Public  Roads — Russell  Postoffice — Killing  of  Old 
Johnnie  Green,  the  Indian  Chief. 


Boundaries — Streams — Resources — The  Natural  Bridgi-— I'oi'ulation — I'roperty 
Valuations — The  Pioneers — Indian  Trail— Drunkenness  Among  the  Indians — 
Pioneer  Martin — Land  Entries — Steam  and  Water  .Milling — Bellemore — New 
Discovery — North  and  Southampton — Hollaudsburg — Public  Roads — Cemeteries. 


Location — Boundary — Topography — First  Mills — Early  Settlers  and  Later  Pio- 
neers— Mecca  Saw-mill — Population — Assessed  ValuVition— li'irst  Sehrx")!  House 
— Flat-boat  Building — "Never-built"  Railroads— Present  Railroads — Wabasb  & 
Erie  Canal. 



Population — Vnluations — First  Settlers — Roaring  Oreeli  Settlement — First  Or- 
chards— Schools — Presbyterian  Church — The  ''Almighty's  Bnll-ilog"— First 
Deaths — Roseville  Mills — Xyesville — Judson — Lodges. 



Significance  of  Xame— Geograiihical  Sitnatiun— Th(>  Beautiful  Wabash  ana 
Other  Streams— Geological  Formal  ion— Soil.  Streams.  Springs— Mineral  Wealtli 
— Concerning  the  Forests — Clays  of  the  County. 


The  Slonnil  Builders — Implements  and  Relics  Found — Burying  Grounds — Find- 
ing of  Skeletons — Indian  Occupancy  of  Count.v — The  Mianiis.  Kidvapoos.  Potta- 
wntomies — French  Missionaries — First  Trading  Posts — The  Brouillets — Joseph 
Collett.  Sr. — General  Harrison's  JIarch  to  Tippecanoe — Murder  of  Sc-See]) — 
Jlilitary  .Tournal. 


John  A^annest  and  William  Bales— Xarrow  Escape  from  Death  of  Mrs,  \'annest 
— Great  Slaughter  of  Wild  Animals. 


Size  and  Boundary— Original  Organization — Acts  Creating  the  County — County 
Government — Transcript  of  Early  Records — First  Jury — Court  Houses  and  Jails 
— Present  County  Buildings — County  Asylum  for  the  Poor — Robbery  of  the 
County  Treasur.v — Assessed  Valuation  by  Precincts — Funds — Recei]its  and  Dis- 


Sheriffs — Recorders — Clerks — Treasurers — Auditors — Surveyors — Coroners — As- 
sociate Judges — Probate  Judges. 


Its  Part  in  the  Civil  War— Some  of  the  Causes  of  the  War— Firing  on  Fort  Sum- 
ter— Address  by  Captain  Owen — History  of  the  Regiments  and  Companies  fr(nn 
Vermillion  County — Bounties  and  Relief  Funds. 


Territorial  Provisions  for  Education — .\ct  of  1816 — Donations  of  Lands  for 
Schools  and  Universities — School  Houses  a  Quarter  of  a  Centucy  Ago — First 
Schools  and  School  Houses— Educational  -Vdvanceinent — Present  Standing  of 
Schools — ^Teachers,  Wages  and  Apportionments  by  Townships  in  1912 — School 
Enumeration — Consolidated  Schools. 


Presbyterian — United  Brethren — Methodist  Ei)iscopal — Baptists — Society  of 
Friends— Universalists^-Roman  Catholics— Christians— United  Brethren  Union 
— ^African  Methodist  Episcopal. 


Free  niul  Accepted  Jlnsons — Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows— Knights  of 


Paragraplis  Concerning  the  Earlier  and  Present  Jlemliers  of  the  Vei-niillion 
County  Bar— Attorneys  of  1912. 


Pioneer  Medical  Practice — First  Physicians  to  Locate  Here — County  Medical 
Societies,  Past  and  Present — A  Blind  Physician — Doctor  Keyes. 


First  and  Subsequent  Pai)ers — The  News-Letter,  Hoosier  State.  Argus.  Cliuton- 
ian,  Times,  Dana  Xew.s — The  Old  Olive  Branch— The  Press,  Past  and  Present, 
at  Cayuga — Perrysville  Banner — Quotations  from  Early  Newspapers. 


First  Banking  House  in  the  County — Subsequent  Bank.s — Present  Banks  of  the 
County,  with  Some  Statements. 


Early  Freighting — Boating— Canals — Steamboating  on  the  Wabash,  Ohio  and 
Mississippi — The  Clinton  Wharf — Railroads  of  Vermillion  County,  Past  and 
Present — Old  Xarrow  Gauge  Line — Electric  Line — Present  Mileage  in  County, 
by  Townships — Public  Gravel  Roads. 


Early-day  Implements — Crops — Agricultural  Resources  of  the  County — Farm 
Statistics — Land  Prices— Old-time  Farm  Machinery — Fruit  Crops — Agricultural 


Its  Beginning  and  Development — Coal-bearing  Counties  of  Indiana — Production 
— Wages — State  Mining  Reports — Market  Prices  for  Coal — A  Review  of  the, 
Industry — Distribution  of  the  Product — Vermillion  County  Mines  and  Companies 
— Thickness  of  Seam  and  Depth  from  Surface — Fatal  Accident — iliners  and 
Appliances — Men  Employed — Powder  T^sed — Bunsen  Coal  Co.  and  the  T'niversal 
Jlines — A  Three-Mill  ion-Dollar  Plant — Description  of  Mines  and  Buildings. 


Old  Whig  Party — Borrowing  a  Cannon — Incidents  Relating  to  the  Civil-war 
Period — Presidential  Vote  for  a  Half  Century — Market  Quotations— Comparison 
with  a  Bushel  of  Wheat — Tariff  Hints — Original  Village  Plats— Cemeteries- 
Population — County  Societies — Temperance  Organizations — PostotHees — Postal 
Savings  Banks — Large  Damage  Suits— Powder  Jlill  Explosions— Destruction  by 
Dynamiters — .V  Brutal  Outrage — ifourning  for  Presidents. 


Name — Platting  and  First  Development — Population  Statistics — Industries — 
Postofflces — Churches  and  Lodges — Municipal  History — Fire  Department— 
AVater  Works — Electric  Light — Board  of  Education— Present  City  Officials — 
Items  of  Interest — Prospecting  for  Natural  Gas. 



The  County  Seat— First  Buildings  and  Stores— Incorporation— Tlio  Old  Mill— 
Postoffice— Saloon  Troubles— Population— The  Great  Tile  \\orks— "Womnn's 
Crusade" — Business  Interests  in  1912. 


Name— First  Settler— Other  Pioneers — General  Features- Mininj:- Schools  and 
Churches — Area  and  Population. 


Boundary  and  Location — ^Area  and  Population — A'aluation — A  Mound  Discov- 
ery— Rare  Exhibition  of  Animal  Nature — Early  Settlement — Towns  and  Villages 
— First  Newspaper  in  the  County — Cayuga — Eugene — Railroad.s — Cayuga  Mills 
— Grand  Army  of  the  Republic— Good  Templars— Incorporation— Postoffice  Safe 
Blowm  Open — Electric  Lighting — Present  Business  Interests — Collett's  Home  for 


Geographical  Situation — Area  and  Population — Assessed  Valuation — Pioneer 
Settlement — First  School — Old  Davis  Ferry — Famous  Fox  Hunts — Rural  De- 
velopment— Gravel  Highways — Modern  Farm  Improvements — Parcel  Post — 
Towns  and  Villages— Toronto — Jonestown  (St.  Bernice) — Hillsdale — Highland 
— Summit  Grove — Dana — Situation — First  Buildings — Incorporation. 


Location — Boundaries — Population — Area — Assessed  Valuation — Early  Settlers 
— Perrysville— Village  of  Gessie — Rileysburg. 


Situation — Name — Population — Valuation  of  Property — Area — Pioneer  Settle- 
ment— Sketch  of  Hon.  O.  P.  Davis— A  Long-lost  Daughter— Quaker  Hill  Settle- 




Adams   Township 172 

AfriCiin  JI.  E.  Church 102 

Agi-ieultural    Societies   143 

Agriculture    142 

Annaiiolis    lf»6 

Army    Ford    52 

Assessed   V.iluation    65 

Assessors,    County    70 

Associate   Judges    70 

Auditors.    County    00 

Awful    Experience    173 


Banlvlng  in  Parke  County 149 

Baptist   Churches   SS 

Bar  of  Parlve  County 71 

Bellemore    218 

Bloomfield   196 

Bloomingdale    196 

P.loomingdale   Academy    139 

Bridgeton    211 

Broolcs.  Capt.  Andrew 55 


Catholic   Churches   105 

Catlin 211 

Cemetery,  Rockville 169 

Christian    Churches   95 

Churches    87 

Circuit  Judges 70 

Civic    Societies    111 

Civil   War  Days  .. 73 

Clerks.    County    67 

Clinton   Lock   179 

Coal  Mining  Operations 147 

Coloma     207 

Colored   People,    Rockville 171 

Common   Pleas   Judges   71 

Coroners    69 

Counties.    Foriiiation    of 44 

County    Assessors   70 

County   Auditors   69 

County   Clerks   67 

County   Examiners   138 

County    Funds   64 

County  Government 61 

County    Officials    67 

County  Organization   60 

County  Recorders 68 

County   Superintendents  138 

County  Surveyors 70 

County  Treasurers 69 

Court   House,    First   61 

Court  Houses 62 

Coxville    180 

Criminal   Cases   123 

Cro])s  .nid  Weather 144 


Daughters  of  Rebekah 116 

Days  of  Mourning 156 

De  Soto,  Fernando 27 

Diamond    212 

Early  County  Seats 61 

Early  Indiana   History  25 

Early  Law  Breakers 66 

Early  Teacher.s'  Qualificntions 137 

Educatiou  in  Parke  County 135 

Educational  Statistics 140 

Eighty-fifth   Regiment  81 


Election  Returns 133 

EleveutU   Cavalry   82 

Enlistments   for   War   73 

Examiners,    County    138 


Farm  Inii)lements.  Early : 202 

Karni    Productions    142 

Farm    Values   143 

Finances  of  Parke  County .-     64 

Fires  in   liockville  167 

First  Court  House 61 

First  Jail 61 

First  Schools 135 

First  White  Settler 55 

Florida  Township 176 

Formation  of  Counties 44 

Forty-third   Regiment 77 

Fourteenth    Regiment    74 

Free  and  Accepted  Masons 111 

French   Possession    43 

Friends'  Bloomingdale  Academy 139 

Friends'  Church 106 


Garfield's  Death   157 

Gen.  Harrison  Trail 52 

(reology  of  Parke  County 53 

Grand  Army  of  the  Republic 117 

Grant  Memorial  Services 15S 

Greene  Township   ISl 

Guion 184 


Harrison  Trail 52 

Hennepin,   Louis   37 

Hi<_>ksite   Quakers   108 

H6bbs,  Barnabas  C. 137 

HoUandsburg    210 

Howard    194 

Howard   Township   185 

Hundred-day  Men 83 


Jiiiplcnieuts,    F;irly   202 

Important  Criminal  Cases 123 

Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows.—  114 
Indian  Days 182 

Indian  Ofcupancy 46 

Indians,   Removal   of 44 

Industries  of  Rockville 170 

Insane  JIan's  Deed   128 


Jackson   Township   187 

Jail,  the  First 61 

Jessup    180 

Johnay  Green  Killed 214 

Judges    1 70 

Judson    225 


Killing  of  Johmiy  Green 214 

Knights  of   Pythias   116 


La  Salle:s  Explorations 35,37 

r>aw   Breakers 66 

Lawyers  of  Parke  County 71 

Legal    Executions   155 

Lena    190 

Liberty  Township 191 

Lighting  Plant,   Rockville   169 

Lorenzo   Dow   103 

Lost  in  the  Forest 173 

Lutheran    Cluirolies    105 


McCune  Cadets   86 

McKinley's  Death 157 


Mansfield    189 

-Market  (Motations 156 

Marquette,   Father   25 

Masonic  Order 111 

Mecca    222 

Alethodist  Episcopal  Churches 97 

Military  History   72 

Mills  of  Greene  Township 183 

Mine  Production 142 

Mines  and  Mining 142 

Miscellaneous    Items   146 

Montezuma    204 


ir.iiUKl    Builders    46 

Muiiieipal   History.   Rocliville 168 


Newspapers  of  Parke  County lit) 

Xiutli   Batteiy 78 

Nunia    179 

Nyesvillp    225 


Odd    Fellows    114 

Official  Roster  67 

Oriranization  of  County 60 


Parke   County  Agricultural   Society—  143 

Parke  County  Asylum 65 

Parke  County  Finances 64 

Parke  County  Geology  5.3 

Parke  County  Lawyers 71 

Parke   County   Scliools   135 

Parke  County  Seminary 140 

Parkeville    184 

Penn   Guards   76 

Penn  Township 195 

Pioneer  Settlement 54 

Political    History    130 

Poor  Asylum 66 

Population   Statistics 154 

Postoffice,  Rockvine 16S 

Presbyterian  Cburches 90 

Present  Banks 151 

Present  Court  House 63 

Present  Methodist  Churches 104 

Prices,  Past  and  Present 156 

Probate  Judges 71 

Pythian  Order 116 


Raccoon  Township  208 

Railroads    146 

Rebekah  Degree  116 

Recorders,   County   68 

Records  Burned 155 

Religious  Societies 87 

Removal  of  Indians 44 

Representatives   67 

Reserve   Township   201 

UockviHe   164 

Rockville   Tribune   120 

Roman  Catholic  Churches 106 

Rose.    Chauncey    .55 

Roseville    178 


School    Consolidations   130 

School    Statistics    140 

Schools  of  Parke  County   135 

Se<:'ond  Court  House 62 

Settlement  of  Parke  County .54 

Settler.  First  White 55 

Seventy-eighth   Regiment   SO 

Sheriffs    68 

Society    of   Friends 106 

Soldiers"    Reunion  • 156 

State  Representatives  67 

State  Tuberculosis  Hospital 160 

Sugar  Creek  Township 213 

Superintendents  of  Schools 138 

Surveyors.   County   70 

Sylvania    194 


Tangier    194 

Taxation  List  of  1833 155 

The  Press 119 

Treasurers.    Coimty   69 

Tribune.   Rockville   120 

Tuberculosis  Hospital   160 

Twenty-first  Regiment 75 


Union  Township  216 

United  Brethren  Churches 105 

United  Presbyterian  Churches 94 

Universalists    110 


Valuations 65 

Vill.-ige  Plats 152 


W.ihash   Riflemen   75 

Wabash  Township 220  Questions 72 


^YMsluu.:;ton  T.jwuship 22^ 

WMtei-   Works.    Roekville   10!i 

Watenu.-in   193 

West    Atbei-tou    ISO 

Westpoi-t    194 

Willi  (l.-ime 182 

Witness  Trees   155 


Yoiinj;   Peojile's   Rending  Circle 13S 


A  Soulier's  Diiir.v 2.S3 

Afre;ise  of  Fnrms 344 

A.sricnltural   Interest.? 343 

Agricnlturjil   Societies  346 

Assessed  Vuluiitions 259 

Associate  Judges - 2G7 

Asylum   for  the  Poor  257 

Attorneys  of  the  County .°,12 

Auditors  of  County 265 


Bankiug   l 3.32 

Baptist  Churches 295 

Bar  of  A'erniillion  County .312 

Blind    Physician    .322 

Bounties    2S2 

Bronillets    240 

P.nit.-il    Ontrage   .309 

('Mtlidlic  Cliurclu's .304 

Cayuga    . 401 

Cemeteries .364 

Christian   Churches   306 

Church   in   War  Days .303 

Churches   293,  .3.S1.  401 

Circuit-rider.   Early   302 

City  of  Clinton 376 

Cla.vs  of  the  County 233 

Clerks  of  County  263 

Clinton   .376 

Clinton  Township .39(1 

Coal   Mining  Industry .34.S 

Coal    Prices    .3.50 

Collett  Home  for  Orphans 402 

Couuuissioners.  First  County 2.52 

CdiiMnissioners'   Records   2.52 


Comparative  Prices 


Count.v   .\nditors   

County   Clerks   

County  Commissioners.  First 2.52 

County  Finances 2.59 

County   Funds   259 

Count.v  Government 249 

County  Officials 262 

County  Recorders 263 

County  Seat  Located 2.51 

County  Societies 365 

Count.v  Surveyors 265 

County  Treasurers 264 

County  Trea.snry  Robbed 258 

Court  Houses 255 

Crops    344 

Dana    414 

Daughters  of  Rebekah 310 

Days  of  Mourning 370 

Iteath  of  President  Garlield 371 

Death  of  President   McKinle.v   372 

Diary  of  Oen.  Tipton 244 

Doctors    31S 

D.vuaniiters  36S 

Educational  History 289 

Eighteenth  Regiment 276 

Right>-tifth   Regiment   280 

Election    Returns    358 

El.'ctri,-  Line 340 

Enumer.ition,    School   292 

Eugene.    Town   of 400 

Eugene  Township 394 

Explosion.    Powder    Mill    ..    367 


Fairvlew   Park   393 

Farm  Statistics 344 

Fifty   Years   Ago    358 

Finances  of  County 259 

First  County  Commissioners 252 

First  Grand  Jury 253 

First  Petit  Jury 254 

First  Scliools 291 

First  White  Settlement 246 

Forests 231 

Forty-tliird   Regiment   277 

Fourteeutli  Regiment 274 

Fox   Hunts    410 

Fraternal    Societies    307 

Free  and  Accepted  Masons 307 

Friends    303 


Geology    228 

Gessie 422 

Gravel  Roads 341 


Harrison's  March  241 

Helt   Township    405 

Highland   414 

Highland  Township 417 

Hillsdale    413 


Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows___  300 

Indian  Occupancy 238 

Indian   Races  235 

Indiana  Furnace 355 

Industries  of  Clinton 379 

Iron    Industry   355 

Iron  Ore 231 


Jails    255 

Jonestown    412 

Judges.  Associate  267 

Judges.  Probate 267 

Jurors.  First  Grand 253 


Knights  of  P.vthias .311 

Knights  of  the  Golden  Circle 272 


Last  and  Largest  Mines 353 

I/aw.vers    312 

Legislative  Act 249 

Lincoln's   Assassination    .370 

Lodges 381,  401 

Long-lost   Daughter   427 

M    . 

Market  Quotations 361 

Masonic  Order 307 

Medical    Societies   324 

Methodist  Episcopal  Churches 298 

Alilitary    History 268 

Mines    348 

Mining  Wages 350 

Miscellaneous  Topics .355 

Mound   Builders   235 


Narrow  Gauge  Railroad 340 

Natural   Features 227 

Natural  Gas 385 

Newport   .386 

Newspapers 325 


Odd  Fellows 309 

Officials  of  County 262 

Old  Indiana  Furnace 3.55 

Old-time  Circuit  Rider 302 

One  Hundred  Twenty -ninth  Regiment  281 

Organization  of  County   249 

Orphans'  Home,  The  Collett 402 


I'crr.vsville    420 

Petit  Jury.  First 254 

Ph.vsicians  of  County   .318 

Pl.its,  Original  Village 362 

Political   Incidents   357 

Poor  Farm   257 


Populatiou  Statistics 304 

Postoffices   366 

Poverty  aud  Happiness 373 

Powder  Mill  Explosion 367 

Pre-liistoi-ic  Races 235 

Presbyterian  Churches 293 

Prices,    Comparative    361 

Prices  for  Coal 350 

Probate  Judges 267 


Qual^er  Hill 428 

Qualiers   303 


Railroad    Mileage    341 

Railroads 337 

Rebeliah  Degree 310 

Recorders  of  County 263 

Regulators 270 

Robbery  of  County  Treasury 258 

Roman  Catholic  Churches 304 


St.   Beruiee 412 

School    Enumeration    292 

School   Statistics,   1887  290 

School  Statistics,  1912 292 

Schools,    First   291 

Se-Seep,  Chief 242 

Settlement,  First  White 246 

Seventy-flrst  Regiment   279 

Sheriffs    262 

Sixteenth  Regiment  275 

Sixth  Cavalry 279 

Slaughter  of  Wild  Animals 248 

Society  of  Friends 303 

Streams   227 

Summit  Grove 414 

Surveyors  of  County 265 


Temperance  Organization 366 

Thirty-first   Regiment    277 

Timber   231 

Tipton,   Gen.   John   243 

Toronto    412 

Transportation  Facilities 336 

Treachery    272 

Treasurers  of  County 264 


"Uncle   Tom's   Cabin" 269 

United  Brethren  Churches 296 

United  Brethren  Union  Churches  __-  306 
Universiilists    304 


Valuations    259 

Vei-million  County  Attorneys 312 

Vermillion  County  Physicians 318 

Vermillion  Township 423 

Village   Plats   .362 


War  Funds 282 

Water   Power 232 



James    W 645 

Adams,   Joseph    D 709 

Adams,   Lewis    E 678 

Adamson,    Henry    515 

Aikman.    Barton    S..    Hon 434 

Aikman,    Homer    B 63S 

Allbrlght,    Henry    674 

Allen,    R.    A 757 

Amis,    Joseph    W._r 458 

Andrews,    Darwin    , 546 

Arthur,    James    N 556 

Ashley,    Charles    W.,    Jr 510 

Ashmore.    James    706 

Aye.    Albert    619 


Bales,   Harry    782 

Ball.    Charles    F 595 

Beeler,   Frank  H.,   M.   D 447 

Bennett,    Charles    662 

Benson,    Alonzo    O 537 

Bingham.    Thomas    646 

Bishop,    Lucius    O 448 

Blake,    William    P 623 

Bowsher,    William    A 524 

Brannon,    Charles    668 

Briggs,    Guy    H 754 

Brockway,    Allan    T 483 

Brown,    John    D 769 

Brown,    William    F 712 

Bryant,    Guy    686 

Burks,    John    D 789 

Burnett,    James    F 552 

Butcher.    Rev.    A.    C 750 


Carpenter.    B.    O 800 

Carter.    M.    B 748 

Case.   Marvin   H 736 

Casebeer,   I.   M.,   JI.   D 643 

Catlin,    Samuel    T 487 

Chaney,    Ernest    669 

Chaney,    James    A 649 

Chaney,    Omer    658 

Chapman,    Ewing    : 497 

Chesterfield,    Oscar    612 

Church.    Richard    F 543 

Clark,    Albert    L 794 

Coble.    Samuel    672 

Cole,   Jacob   S 620 

Collings,    William    B 689 

Conley,    Hugh    H 734 

Cooper,    Charles   R 747 

f^ox,    William,    Sr 752 

Cox,    William    N 628 

Cristy.    Frank    P 560 


Daniels.    Joseph    J 507 

Davis,    Bird    H 544 

Davis,    Holbert    809 

Davis,    Jacob    G 549 

Davis,    Samuel    B 512 

Delp,    Juel    A 699 

Devonald,    William    561 

Dickenson,    G.    E 799 

Drake.    Leonldas    565 

Dugger,    James   G 557 

Durr.    Sebastian    681 


Elder.   James   E 443 

•^ller.    James    H 783 

Evans,   Dr.    E.   M 697 


Ferguson,    Arthur    601 

Ferguson,    Henry    569 

."^ergu^on,    James    605 


Finnegan,    G.    L S04 

Finney,    R.    J 766 

Fisher,    J.    A 651 

Frantz,    Joseph    L 599 

Frazer,    Allen    755, 

Frist.   .Jasper   N 580 

Fiiltz,    Charles    N 624 


Garwood.   .Judge   A S05 

Gates,    F,    M (521 

Glllum,    William    B 525 

Gillum,  William   H.,   M.   D 498 

Gilmore,    John    W 540 

Goodin,   William    618 

Gregg,    Fred    Alfred 562 

Gregory,    tJames    600 

Gregory,    Thomas    802 

Griffin,    Fred    664 

Griffin,    G.    W SU 

Griffin.    J.    G 812 

Griffiths,    D.     VV 803 

Grubb,    Henry    502 

Guinn,    Robert    E 753 


Haddon,    Jesse    E 551 

Hall,  Melvin  L.,  M.  D 741 

Hall,    S.    J 729 

Hargrave.    Arthur    A 504 

Harrison,    Edgar    R 786 

Harrison,    Robert    758 

Harrison,    Roy    C 598 

Harshbarger,    John    E 670 

HatHeld,    G.    W 773 

Hathaway,   Elberson   715 

Hayes,    William    L 571 

Heaton,    J.    R 655 

Henderson,   Harold   A 516 

Henderson,    John    732 

Hess.  Asa   A 550 

Hobson,    Ira    700 

Hosford,    Charles    792 

Hosford,    Monroe    G 587 

Hughes,    Ralph   V 79S 

Humphries,    L.    B 589 

Hunt,    Elwood    518 

Huxford,    A.    J 466 

Huxford,    Perry    781 

Huxford,    Voorhees    660 


Jacks,    George    \\^ 676 

Jacobs.    Herman    H 657 

James,   James   D 793 

■Jardine,    William    718 

Jeffries,    Steiihen    H 532 

Jenks,    Stephen    713 

.Johns,    J.    .M 576 

Johnson,    Daniel    C 508 

Johnson,    Frank    R 635 

Johnson,   William  A.,   M.   D 615 

Johnston,    James    T 476 

Johnston,   William,   Jr 810 

Jones.    Edward    555 


Kearns,   F.    M 807 

Kerr,    James    H 538 

Kessler,    M.    V 814 

Keyes,   Otis   M..   il.    D 602 


Lake,   Israel   787 

Laney.    George    L 640 

Lang,   Benjamin    F 717 

Lanning,    William    693 

Laverty,    Aquilla    530 

Leavitt,    H.    B 772 

Lindley,    S.    G 702 

Linebarger,    George    H 631 

Linebarger,    John    A 456 

Linebarger,    Levi    J 634 

Livengood,    Charles    A 692 

Lockridge,   A.   B.,   M.    D 492 

Lowe.    Harry   L 705 

Lowlor,    C.    M 806 

Lyday,    Mark    W 578 


McCaman,  E.  F 728. 

McCormack,   E.   G 720 

McCutchan,    B.    M 764 

McDonald,    Thomas    L '  582 

.McElroy.    Stephen    C 610 

McFaddin,    Jolin    S 520 

.Mc.Mulleu,    D.    B 65S 



:\I;inion.     Sylvester     Til 

.Alark.    J.    H 711 

Harks.    George    E .534 

Martin,    T.    C 763 

JIaxwell,    Howard    490 

Maxwell,    W.    H 690 

Meyers,   Charles   H 545 

Miller,    C.    F 795 

Miller,    Dick    S13 

Miller,    Joliu    R .536 

Miller,    John    R.    Mc 719 

Mitchell,    Frederick   A 609 

Montgomery.    Hugh     533 

Jlontgomery,    John    H 656 

Moore,    Harry    654 

Morgan,    Brown    H 574 

Moi'gan,    Harmon    K 572 

Morris.   C.   C,   M.    D 4S5 

Myers.    J.    H 677 

Myers,    Quincy    A 462 

Myers.   William   C,   M.   D 604 


Xeal.     M.    Hudson 703 

Nebeker.    ilark    E 511 

Neel,   E.   E 647 

Nelson,    Thomas    H 591 

Newlin,    Ira    S15 

Newton,    John   R 665 

Nichols.   Prank   H 461 

Nichols,    Maj.    Jonathan    M 464 

Nixon,    Robert    H 452 

Nurnberger,    Albert    666 


Overpeck.  C.  W.,  M.    D '489 

Overpeck,  Isaac  M 680 

Overpeck,  Leonidas  E 650 


Paine,    James    581 

Paine,    John    R 584 

Parke    County    Times 528 

Payne.    Harrison    T 445 

Peer,    William    F 722 

Pence,    Peter    485 

Phillips,    Parke    691 

Phinney,     Walter    G 759 

Pickaril.    Isatc    A 4J3 

Pickard,    John    S mi 

Pierce,    Jesse    W 768 

Pike,    Stephen    A 500 

Pitman,    Bennie    E 568 

Poiter,    Worth    W 632 

Pritchett,   Grover   C,   M.    D 607 

Puett,    .lames    W 682 

Puett,    S.   F.    Max 473 

Puett.    Samuel    D 474 

Puett,    Thomas    B 684 

Puffer.    Morgan     707 

Puntenney,    John    G 608 


Redman.    John    W 554 

Reed,    Charles    S 606 

Reed,    James    S 765 

Reeder,    Valzah    749 

Renick,    Charles    D 593 

Riggs,    William 626 

Richards.    Harry    J 808 

Robbins,    S.    M 791 

Roberts.    Phillip    A 779 

Rohm,    E.    H.    C 774 

Rohm,    George    W 778 

Rudy,    Milo    J 541 

Rusing,    R.    J 679 

Russell,    Jesse    H 725 

Rutter.    J.    Carl 704 

Salmon,    George    H 661 

Satterlee.    Willis    A 575 

Scott,    Matthew    M 745 

Seybold,    John    N 596 

Seybold,    Percy    688 

Seybold,     William    P 586 

Shannon,    Walter    B 636 

Sherrill.    B.    0 ,-—  738 

Sherrill,   C.   L 528 

Sherrill,  F.   L 528 

Shew,    Henry     784 

Shirkie.    James    570 

Simpson.    J.    T 744 

Skeeters,    Homer    J 439 

Skidmore,    J.    F 740 

Snow,    James    M 659 


Soules,    Alonzo    6S7 

Spellman,    E.    H._l 733 

Spencer,    Frank    724 

Spencer,    George   W.,   Jr 450 

Spencer.    John    H 467 

Staats.    Samuel    723 

Stark,    Alfred    H 454 

Stark,   John    0 472 

Stephens,    Edgar    R 627 

Stewart,    Lee    Roy , 7S0 

Stone,    Clarence    590 

Stone,    Robert    I 639 

Stoner,    Lycurgus    T 685 

Strain,   Joseph   W 441 

Strong.  Daniel  S.,  il.  D 54S 

Stroiise,    Isaac    R 480 

Sniltz.    (ienrge   W.    503 

Stuthard,   George   B 471 

Sunkel,    George    D 614 

Swope,  Raymond  E.,   M.   D 484 


Taylor,    Green    T 622 

Taylor,    James    A 663 

Thomas.    Charles    B 671 

Thomas.    Clay    E 785 

Thompson,    Dee    698 

Thomson,    William    M 479 

Times,    Parke    County 528 

Tolin,    John    A 727 

Tucker,    W.    N 797 

Tutwiler,    James    P 585 

Tyre,    James    652 

Vansickle.    Ross    716 


Walker,    Charles    P 696 

Walker,    Fred    667 

Walter,    John    0 558 

Watson,    Henry    630 

Wait,    William   C 469 

Walters,    John    559 

Welch,    Elmer    T 613 

Welch,  John  A.,  .M.  D 616 

Welch.   Patrick   721 

Wheat.    Albert    694 

White,  Hon.  Ared  F 429 

White,  Isaac  D.,  M.  D 761 

White,    Ren    M ^ 762 

White,    William    J 776 

Whittington,    James    M 523 

Williams,    Daniel    C 529 

Williams,    David    675 

Winter,    C.    A . 743 

Wood.   Fred    790 

Wright,    Dana    P 367 




What  is  now  known  as  the  state  of  Indiana  was  originally  discovered 
and  hence  claimed  as  the  possession  of  France  by  that  government.  It  was 
Joliet,  a  Frenchman  of  great  experience  as  a  navigator  and  discoverer,  who 
was  accompanied  by  that  illustrious  Catholic,  Father  Marquette,  who  first  set 
the  world  in  possession  of  the  facts  concerning  the  great  Mississippi  river 
and  its  wide,  rich  vallej^  Marquette  had  learned  much  concerning  this 
stream  through  the  Indians  whom  he  was  seeking,  in  the  northern  country, 
to  convert  to  Christianity.  In  a  letter  written  by  Marquette  from  his  mis- 
sion to  his  reverend  superior,  he  wrote : 

"While  the  Illinois  (tribe)  came  to  this  point  they  pass  a  great  river 
which  is  almost  a  league  in  width.  It  flows  from  north  to  south  and  to  so 
great  a  distance  that  the  Illinois,  who  know  nothing  of  the  use  of  a  canoe, 
have  never  yet  heard  tell  of  its  mouth :  they  only  know  that  there  are  great 
nations  below  them,  some  of  whom,  dwelling  to  the  east-southeast  of  their 
country,  gather  their  Indian  corn  twice  a  year.  A  nation  that  they  call 
Chaounan  fShawneese)  came  to  ^isit  them  during  the  past  summer;  the 
young  man  that  has  been  given  me  to  teach  me  the  language  has  seen  them ; 
they  were  loaded  with  glass  beads,  which  shows  that  they  have  communica- 
tion w'ith  the  Europeans.  They  had  to  journey  across  the  land  for  more 
than  thirty  days  before  arriving  at  their  country.  It  is  hardly  probable  that 
this  great  river  discharges  itself  into  the  ocean  from  A'irginia.  We  are  more 
inclined  to  think  that  it  has  its  mouth  in  California.  If  the  savages,  who 
have  promised  to  make  me  a  canoe,  do  not  fail  in  their  word,  we  will  navi- 
gate this  river  as  far  as  possible  with  a  Frenchman  and  this  }-oung  man  that 
they  have  given  me,  who  understands  several  languages  and  possesses  great 
facility  for  acquiring  others.  We  shall  visit  these  nations  who  dwell  along 
its  shores  to  open  the  way  of  our  fathers  who  for  a  long  time  have  awaited 


this  happiness.  This  discovery  \^■ill  gi\-e  us  a  perfect  knowledge  of  the  sea, 
either  to  the  south  or  west." 

This  knowledge  came  to  the  ears  of  the  French  authorities  at  Quebec, 
and  indeed  over  in  Paris,  and  naturally  enough  stimulated  further  inquiry. 
There  were  three  theories  as  to  where  the  Mississippi  river  finally  emptied 
its  waters :  One  that  it  was  discharged  into  the  Atlantic  ocean,  south  of  the 
British  colony  of  Virginia;  second,  that  it  flowed  into  the  gulf  of  Mexico; 
and  third,  which  was  the  most  popular  theory,  that  it  was  emptied  into  the 
Red  Sea,  as  the  Gulf  of  California  was  called,  and  if  the  latter,  that  it  would 
afford  a  passage  to  China.  To  solve  this  important  problem  in  the  world's 
commerce,  it  was  determined,  as  appears  from  a  letter  from  the  governor,  at 
Quebec,  to  M.  Colbert,  minister  of  the  French  na\'y  at  Paris,  expedient  "for 
service  to  send  Sieur  Joliet  to  the  country  of  the  Mascoutines,  to  discover 
the  South  Sea  and  the  great  river — they  call  the  Mississippi — which  is  sup- 
posed to  discharge  itself  into  the  Sea  of  California." 

Father  Marquette  was  chosen  to  accompany  Joliet  on  account  of  the 
information  he  had  already  gained  from  the  various  Indians  he  had  met,  as 
he  wrote  Father  Dablon,  his  superior,  when  informed  by  the  latter  that  he 
was  to  be  Joliet' s  companion,  "I  am  ready  to  go  on  your  order  to  seek  new 
nations  toward  the  South  Sea,  and  teach  them  of  our  great  God  whom  they 
hitherto  have  not  known." 

Before  proceeding  with  a  description  of  the  wonderful  history  of  this 
voyage  of  Joliet  and  Marquette,  it  will  be  well  to  note  that  Spain  had  a  prior 
right  over  France  to  the  Mississippi  valley  by  virtue  of  previous  discovery. 
As  early  as  1525,  Cortez  had  conquered  Mexico,  portioned  out  its  rich  mines 
among  his  favorites  and  reduced  the  inoffensive  inhabitants  to  the  worst  of 
slavery,  making  them  till  the  ground  and  toil  in  the  mines  for  their  unfeel- 
ing masters.  A  few  years  following  the  conquest  of  Mexico,  the  Spaniards, 
under  Pamphilus  de  Narvaez,  in  1528,  undertook  the  conquest  and  coloniza- 
tion of  Florida  and  the  entire  northeast  coast-line  of  the  gulf.  After  long 
and  futile  wanderings  in  the  interior,  his  party  returned  to  the  sea  coast  and 
endeavored  to  reach  Tampico,  in  wretched  boats.  Nearly  all  perished  by 
disease,  storm  and  famine.  The  survivors,  with  one  Cabeza  de  Vaca  at  their 
head,  drifted  to  an  island  near  the  present  state  of  Mississippi,  from  which, 
after  four  years  of  slavery,  De  Vaca,  with  four  companions,  escaped  to  the 
mainland  and  started  westward,  going  clear  across  the  continent  to  the  Gulf 
of  California.  The  natives  took  them  for  supernatural  beings.  They  as- 
sumed the  guise  of  jugglers,  and  the  Indian  tribes  through  which  they  passed 
invested  them  with  a  tribe  of  medicine  men,  and  their  lives  were  thus  guarded 


with  a  superstitious  awe.  They  are,  perhaps,  the  first  Europeans  who  ever 
went  overland  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific.  They  must  have  crossed  the 
Great  River  (Mississippi)  somewhere  on  their  route,  remaining  "in  history, 
in  a  distant  twilight,  as  the  first  Europeans  known  to  have  set  foot  on  the 
banks  of  the  Mississippi  river." 

It  was  in  1539  when  Hernando  De  Soto,  with  a  party  of  cavaliers,  mostly 
the  sons  of  titled  nobility,  landed  with  their  horses  upon  the  coast  of  Florida. 
During  that  and  the  following  four  years  these  daring  adventurers  wandered 
through  the  wilderness,  traveling  through  portions  of  Florida,  Carolina, 
Georgia,  Alabama  and  Mississippi,  crossing  the  Mississippi  river,  it  is  sup- 
posed, at  some  point  within  the  present  state  of  Mississippi.  Crossing  the 
great  river,  they  pressed  their  way  onward  to  the  base  of  the  Rocky  moun- 
tains, vainly  searching  for  the  gold  so  marvelously  described  by  De  Vaca. 
De  Soto's  party  endured  hardships  that  would  depress  the  stoutest  hearts, 
while,  with  sword  and  fire,  they  perpetrated  atrocities  upon  the  Indian 
tribes  through  which  they  passed,  burning  their  villages  and  inflicting  cruel- 
ties which  make  us  blush  for  the  wickedness  of  men  claiming  to  be  Chris- 
tians. De  Soto  died  in  May  or  June,  1542,  on  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi, 
below  the  mouth  of  the  Washita,  and  his  immediate  attendants  concealed 
hi.=  death  from  the  others  and  secretly,  in  the  night,  buried  his  body  in  the 
middle  of  the  stream.  The  remnant  of  his  survivors  went  westward  and  then 
returned  back  again  to  the  river,  passing  the  winter  upon  its  banks.  The 
following  spring  they  went  down  the  river,  in  seven  boats  which  they  had 
rudely  constructed  out  of  such  scanty  material  and  with  the  few  tools  they 
could  command.  In  these  boats,  after  three  months'  voyage,  they  arrived  at 
the  Spanish  town  of  Panuco,  on  the  river  of  that  name  in  Mexico. 

Later,  in  1565,  Spain,  failing  in  previous  attempts,  effected  a  lodg- 
ment in  Florida,  and  for  the  protection  of  her  colony  built  the  old  fort  at 
St.  Augustine,  whose  ancient  ruins  still  stand  out  boldly  today,  as  showing 
where  the  first  settlement  was  effected  in  this  country.  It  also  stands  as  a 
monument  over  the  graves  of  the  hundreds  of  nati\  es  there  killed,  after  serv- 
ing in  bondage,  by  their  Spanish  conquerors.  These  unfortunates  had  aided 
in  the  construction  of  the  massive  walls  of  masonry,  converted  into  dun- 
geons, dark  and  gloomy,  and  in  which  they  finalh^  perished. 

While  Spain  retained  her  hold  on  Mexico  and  enlarged  her  possessions 
and  continued,  with  feebler  efforts,  to  keep  possession  of  the  Floridas,  she 
took  no  measure  to  establish  settlements  along  the  Mississippi,  or  to  avail 
herself  of  the  advantage  that  might  have  resulted  from  its  discovery.  The 
Mississippi  river  excited  no  further  notice  after  De  Soto's  time.    For  the  next 


century  it  remained  a  sealed  mysterj-  until  the  French,  approaching  from  the 
north  by  way  of  the  Great  Lakes,  explored  it  in  its  entire  length  and  brought 
to  public  view  the  vast  extent  and  wonderful  fertility  of  its  valleys. 

Retracing  our  steps  to  the  notes  made  in  the  carefully  kept  journal  of 
Father  Marquette,  who,  with  Joliet,  descended  the  Mississippi,  it  mav  first 
be  stated  that  Joliet  and  :Marciuette's  voyage  made  one  of  the  most  thrilling 
and  romantic  chapters  in  the  history  of  the  country,  especially  to  those  inter- 
ested in  the  original  of  things  connected  with  the  states  of  Illinois  and  In- 
diana.   The  following  is  extracted  from  Marquette's  journal: 

"Tiie  day  of  the  Immaculate  Conception  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  whom  I 
had  always  in\'oked,  since  I  have  been  in  the  Ottawa  country,  to  obtain  of 
God  the  grace  to  be  able  to  visit  the  nations  on  the  river  Mississippi,  was  in- 
cidentally that  on  which  M.  Jollyet  arrived  with  orders  to  the  Comte  de 
Frontenac,  our  governor,  and  \L  Talon,  our  intendant,  to  make  the  discov- 
ery with  me.  I  was  the  more  enraptured  at  this  good  news,  as  I  saw  my 
designs  on  the  point  of  being  accomplished,  and  myself  in  the  happy  neces- 
sity of  exposing  my  life  for  the  salvation  of  all  these  nations,  and  particu- 
larly f(ir  tlie  Illinois,  who  had,  when  1  was  at  Lapointe  du  Esprit,  very  ear- 
nestly entreated  me  to  carry  the  word  of  God  to  their  country. 

"We  were  not  long  in  preparing  our  outfit,  altliough  we  were  embarking 
on  a  voyage  the  duration  of  which  we  could  not  foresee.  Indian  corn, 
with  some  dried  meats,  was  our  whole  stock  of  provisions.  With  this  we 
set  out  in  two  bark  canoes,  M.  Jollyet,  myself  and  fi\'e  men,  firmly  resolved 
to  do  all,  and  suffer  all  for  so  glorious  an  enterprise. 

"It  was  on  May  17,  1763,  that  we  started  from  the  mission  of  St.  Igna- 
tius, at  Michilimakinac,  where  I  then  was. 

"Our  jov  at  being  chosen  for  this  expedition  roused  our  courage  and 
sweetened  our  labors  of  rowing  from  morning  till  night.  As  we  were  going 
to  seek  unknown  countries,  we  took  all  possible  precautions  that,  if  our 
enterprise-  was  hazardous,  it  should  not  be  foolhardy;  for  this  reason  we 
gathered  all  possible  knowledge  from  the  Indians  who  had  frequented  these 
parts,  and  even  from  their  accounts  traced  a  map  of  all  the  new  country, 
marking  down  the  rivers  on  which  we  were  to  sail,  the  names  of  the  nations 
and  places  through  which  we  were  to  pass,  the  course  of  the  Great  River,  and 
what  direction  we  should  take  when  we  got  to  it. 

"Above  all,  I  put  our  voyage  under  the  protection  of  the  Blessed  Virgin 
Immaculate,  promising  her  that,  if  she  did  us  grace  to  discover  the  Great 
River,  I  would  give  it  the  name  of  the  Conception,  and  that  I  would  also 
give  that  name  to  the  first  mission  I  should  establish  among  the  new  nations, 
as  I  have  actuallv  done  among  the  Illinois." 


After  some  clays  they  reached  an  Indian  ^•illage,  and  Marciuette's  diary 
continues :  "Here  we  are,  then,  at  the  Maskoutens.  This  word,  in  Algon- 
quin, may  mean  'fire  nation,'  and  that  is  the  name  given  by  them.  This  is  the 
limit  of  the  discoveries  made  by  the  French,  for  they  ha\e  not  vet  passed 
beyond  it.  The  town  is  made  up  of  three  nations  gathered  here,  Aliamis, 
Maskoutens  and  Kickabous.  [This  ^■illage  was  near  the  mouth  of  Wolfe 
ri\-er.  which  empties  into  Winnebago  lake,  \\"isconsin.  |  _\s  bark  for  cabins 
in  this  region  is  scarce,  they  use  rushes,  which  serve  them  for  walls  and 
roofs,  I)ut  which  allord  them  no  protection  against  the  wind,  and  still  less 
against  the  rain  when  it  falls  in  torrents.  The  advantages  of  this  kind  of 
cabins  is  that  they  can  roll  them  up  and  carry, them  easily  where  they  like  in 
hunting  time. 

"I  felt  no  little  pleasure  in  beholding  the  position  of  the  town.  The 
view  is  beautiful  and  picturesque,  for,  from  the  eminence  on  which  it  is 
perched,  the  eye  discovers  on  e\'ery  side  prairies  spreading  away  beyond  its 
reach,  interspersed  with  thickets  or  groves  of  trees.  The  soil  is  very  good, 
producing  much  corn.  The  Indians  gather  also  large  quantities  of  plums 
and  grapes  from  which  good  wine  could  be  made  if  they  choose. 

"No  sooner  had  we  arrived  than  M.  Jollyet  and  I  assembled  the  Sa- 
chems. He  told  them  we  were  sent  by  our  governor  to  discover  new  coun- 
tries, and  I,  by  the  Almighty,  to  illumine  them  with  light  of  the  gospel;  that 
the  so\'ereign  Master  of  our  lives  wished  to  be  known  to  all  nations,  and 
that  to  obey  his  will  I  did  not  fear  death,  to  which  I  exposed  myself  in  such 
dangerous  voyages :  that  we  needed  two  guides  to  put  us  on  our  wa}- :  these, 
making  them  a  present,  we  begged  them  to  grant  to  us.  This  they  did  very 
civilly,  and  even  proceeded  to  speak  to  us  by  a  present,  which  was  a  mat  to 
serve  us  on  our  voyage. 

"The  next  day,  which  was  the  tenth  of  June,  two  Miamis  whom  they 
had  given  us  as  guides,  embarked  with  us  in  the  sight  of  a  great  crowd,  who 
could  not  wonder  enough  to  see  se\-en  Frenchmen,  alone  in  two  canoes,  dare 
to  undertake  so  hazardous  an  expedition. 

"We  knew  that  there  was,  three  leagues  from  .Maskoutens,  a  river 
emptying  into  the  Mississippi.  \\'e  knew,  too,  that  the  point  of  the  compass 
we  were  to  hold  to  reach  it  was  the  west-southwest,  but  the  way  is  so  cut  up 
with  marshes  and  little  lakes  that  it  is  easy  to  go  astra}-,  especially  as  the  river 
leading  to  it  is  so  covered  with  wild  oats  that  you  can  hardly  discover  the 
channel;  hence  we  had  need  of  two  guides,  who  led  us  safely  to  portage  of 
twenty-seven  hundred  paces  and  helped  us  transport  our  canoes  to  enter  the 
river,  after  which  they  returned,  leaving"  us  alone  in  an  unknown  countr\-  in 
the  hands  of  Providence." 


This  portage  has  given  us  the  name  of  Portage  City,  at  which  location 
it  was.  and  is  situated  in  \\'isconsin,  where  the  upper  waters  of  Fox  river, 
emptying  into  Green  bay,  approach  the  \Visconsin  river,  which,  coming"  from 
the  northwest,  here  changes  its  course  to  the  southwest.  The  distance  across 
this  neck  is  a  mile  and  a  half,  o\er  the  beautiful  prairie  above  described  by 

Marquette's  journal  continues:  "We  now  leave  the  waters  which  flow 
to  Quebec,  a  distance  of  about  five  hundred  leagues,  to  follow  those  which 
will  henceforth  lead  us  into  strange  lands. 

"Our  route  was  southwest,  and  after  sailing  about  thirty  leagues  we 
perceived  a  place  which  had  all  the  appearances  of  an  iron  mine,  and  in  fact 
one  of  our  party  who  had  seen  some  before  averred  that  the  one  we  had 
found  was  very  rich  and  very  good.  After  forty  leagues  on  this  same  route 
we  reached  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  finding  ourselves  at  forty-two  one-half 
north,  we  safely  enter  the  Mississippi  on  the  17th  of  June  with  a  joy  I  can- 
not express. 

"Having  descended  as  far  as  forty-one  degrees  and  twenty-eight  min- 
utes, in  the  same  direction,  we  find  that  turkeys  have  taken  the  place  of 
game,  and  pisikious  [buffalo]  or  wild  cattle  that  of  other  beasts. 

".\.t  last,  on  the  25th  of  June,  we  perceived  foot-prints  of  men.  by  the 
water  sides,  and  a  beaten  path  leading  to  some  Indian  village,  and  we  re- 
solved to  go  and  reconnoiter ;  we  accordingly  left  our  two  canoes  in  charge 
of  our  people,  cautioning  them  to  beware  of  a  surprise:  then  M.  Jollyet  and 
I  undertook  the  rather  hazardous  discovery  for  two  men,  single  and  alone, 
who  thus  put  themselves  at  the  mercy  of  an  unknown  and  barbarous  people. 
We  followed  the  little  path  in  silence  and  going  about  two  leagues  we  dis- 
covered a  village  on  the  banks  of  the  river,  and  two  others  on  the  hill  a  league 
from  the  former.  Then,  indeed,  we  recommended  ourselves  to  God  with  all 
our  hearts,  and  having  implored  his  help  we  passed  on  undiscovered,  and 
came  so  near  that  we  even  heard  the  Indians  talking.  We  then  deemed  it 
time  to  announce  ourselves,  as  we  did  by  a  cry  which  we  raised  with  all  our 
strength,  and  then  halted  without  advancing  any  farther.  At  this  cry  the 
Indians  rushed  out  of  their  cabins,  and  having  probably  recognized  us  as 
French,  especially  seeing  a  black  gown,  or  at  least  having  no  reason  to  dis- 
trust us,  seeing  we  were  but  two  and  had  made  known  our  coming,  they 
deputed  four  old  men  to  come  and  speak  to  us.  Two  carried  tobacco  pipes 
well  adorned  and  trimmed  with  many  kinds  of  feathers.  They  marched 
slowly,  lifting  their  pipes  toward  the  sun,  as  if  offering  them  to  it  to  smoke, 
but  yet  without  uttering  a  single  word.     They  were  a  long  time  coming  the 


little  way  from  the  village  to  us.  Having  reached  us  at  last  they  stopped 
to  consider  us  attentively. 

"I  now  took  courage,  seeing  these  ceremonies,  which  are  used  by  them 
only  with  friends,  and  still  more  on  seeing  them  covered  with  stuffs  which 
made  me  judge  them  to  be  allies.  I  therefore  spoke  to  them  first,  and  asked 
them  who  they  were.  They  answered  that  they  were  Illinois,  and  in  token  of 
peace  they  presented  their  pipes  to  smoke.  They  then  invited  us  to  their  vil- 
lage, where  all  the  tribe  awaited  us  with  impatience.  These  pipes  for  smok- 
ing are  called  in  this  country  calumet,  a  word  that  is  so  much  in  use  that  I 
shall  be  obliged  to  employ  it  in  order  to  be  understood,  as  I  shall  have  to 
speak  it  frequently. 

"At  the  door  of  the  cabin  in  which  we  were  to  be  received  was  an  old 
man  awaiting  us  in  a  very  remarkable  posture,  which  is  their  usual  cere- 
mony in  receiving  a  stranger.  This  man  was  standing  perfectly  naked,  with 
his  hands  stretched  out  and  raised  toward  the  sun,  as  if  he  wished  to  screen 
himself  from  its  rays,  which,  nevertheless,  passed  through  his  fingers  to  his 
face.  When  we  came  near  him  he  paid  us  this  compliment.  'How  beautiful 
is  the  sun,  O  Frenchmen,  \\hen  thou  comest  to  visit  us!  All  our  town 
awaits  thee  and  thou  shalt  enter  into  all  our  cabins  in  peace."  He  then  took 
us  to  his,  where  there  was  a  crowd  of  people,  who  devoured  us  with  their 
eyes,  but  kept  a  profound  silence.  We  heard,  however,  these  words  ad- 
dressed to  us  occasionally :  'Well  done,  brother,  to  visit  us."  As  soon  as  we 
had  taken  our  places  in  the  cabin,  they  showed  us  the  usual  civilities,  the  pre- 
senting of  the  calumet.  You  must  not  refuse  unless  _\'0u  would  pass  for  an 
eneniv,  at  least  for  being  very  impolite.  It  is  enough,  howe\er,  to  pretend  to 
smoke.  While  all  the  old  men  smoked  after  us  to  honor  us,  some  came  to  in- 
vite us,  on  behalf  of  the  great  Sachem  of  the  Illinois,  to  proceed  to  his  town, 
where  he  wished  to  hold  a  council  with  us.  We  went  with  a  good  retinue, 
for  all  the  people  who  had  never  seen  a  Frenchmen  among  them  could  not 
tire  looking  at  us:  they  threw  themselves  on  the  grass  near  us  l)y  the  wayside: 
then  ran  ahead  of  us :  they  threw  themselves  in  front  of  us,  and  turned  back 
to  look  at  us  again.  All  this  was  done  without  noise,  and  with  the  marks  of 
great  respect  and  entertained  us  well. 

"Having  arrived  at  the  great  Sachem's  town,  we  espied  him  at  his 
cabin  door  between  two  old  men ;  all  three  standing  naked,  with  their  calumets 
turned  toward  the  sun.  He  harangued  us  in  a  few  words  to  congratulate  on 
our  arrival,  and  then  presented  us  his  calumet  and  made  us  smoke;  at  the 
same  time  we  entered  his  cabin,  where  we  received  all  their  usual  greetings. 
Seeing  all  assembled  and  in  silence,  I  spoke  to  them  by  four  presents  whicli  I 


made  them  take.  By  the  first,  I  said  that  we  marched  in  peace  to  visit  the 
nations  on  the  river  to  the  sea;  by  the  second,  I  declared  to  them  that  God, 
their  creator,  had  pity  on  them,  since  after  having  been  so  long  ignorant  of 
Him,  He  wished  to  become  known  to  all  nations ;  that  I  was  sent  on  His  l)e- 
half  with  that  design;  that  it  was  for  them  to  acknowledge  and  obey  Him; 
by  the  third,  that  the  great  chief  of  the  French  informed  them  that  he  spread 
peace  everywhere,  and  had  overcome  the  Iroquois;  lastly,  by  the  fourth,  we 
begged  them  to  give  us  all  the  information  they  had  of  the  sea,  and  of  all 
nations  through  which  we  should  have  to  pass  to  reach  it. 

"When  I  had  finished  my  speech,  the  Sachem  rose,  and  laying  his  hand 
on  the  head  of  a  little  slave  whom  he  was  about  to  give  us,  spoke  thus :  'I 
thank  thee.  Black-gown,  and  thee,  Frenchman,'  addressing  M.  Jollyet,  'for 
taking  so  much  pains  to  come  to  visit  us.  Never  has  our  river  been  so  calm, 
nor  so  free  from  rocks,  which  your  canoes  have  removed  as  they  passed; 
never  has  our  tobacco  had  so  fine  a'  flavor,  nor  our  corn  appeared  so  beau- 
tiful as  we  behold  it  today.  Here  is  my  son,  that  I  give  thee  that  thou  mayest 
know  my  heart.  I  pray  thee  take  pity  on  me  and  all  my  nation.  Thou  know- 
est  the  Great  Spirit  who  has  made  us  all ;  thou  speakest  to  him  and  hearest 
his  word ;  ask  him  to  give  me  life  and  health,  and  come  and  dwell  with  us 
that  we  may  know  him.'  Saying  this,  he  placed  the  little  slave  near  us,  and 
made  us  a  second  present,  an  all  mysterious  calumet,  which  they  value  more 
than  a  slave.  By  this  present  he  showed  us  his  esteem  for  our  governor,  after 
the  account  we  had  given  of  him.  By  the  third,  he  begged  us,  on  behalf  of 
the  whole  nation,  not  to  proceed  farther  on  acount  of  the  great  dangers  to 
which  we  exposed  ourselves. 

"I  replied  that  I  did  not  fear  death,  and  that  I  esteemed  no  happiness 
greater  than  that  of  losing  my  life  for  the  glory  of  Him  who  made  us  all. 
But  these  poor  people  could  not  understand.  The  council  was  followed  by  a 
great  feast  which  consisted  of  four  courses,  which  we  had  to  take  with  all 
their  ways.  The  first  course  was  a  great  wooden  dish  full  of  sagamity — 
that  is  to  say,  of  Indian  meal  boiled  in  water  and  seasoned  with  grease.  The 
master  of  ceremonies,  witlt  a  spoonful  of  sagamit}-,  presented  it  three  or  four 
times  to  the  mouth,  as  we  would  do  with  a  little  child ;  he  did  the  same  to  M. 
Jollyet.  For  the  second  course,  containing  three  fish,  he  took  some  pains  to 
remove  the  bones,  and  having  blown  upon  it  to  cool  it,  put  it  in  my  mouth, 
as  we  would  food  to  a  bird.  For  the  third  course  they  produced  a  large  dog 
which  thev  had  just  killed,  but  learning  that  we  did  not  eat  it,  withdrew  it. 
Finally,  the  fourth  course  was  a  piece  of  wild  ox,  the  fattest  portions  of 
which  were  ]nit  into  our  mouths. 


"We  took  leave  of  our  Illinois  about  the  end  of  June,  and  embarked  in 
sight  of  all  the  tribe,  who  admire  our  canoes,  having  never  seen  the  like. 

"As  we  were  discoursing,  while  sailing  gently  down  a  beautiful,  still, 
clear  water,  we  heard  the  noise  of  a  rapid  into  which  we  were  about  to  fall. 
I  have  seen  nothing  more  frightful;  a  mass  of  large  trees,  entire  with  branches 
— real  floating  islands — came  rushing  from  the  mouth  of  the  river  Pekitanoui 
so  impetuously  that  we  could  not,  without  great  danger,  expose  ourselves  to 
cross  over  it.  The  agitation  was  so  great  that  the  water  was  all  muddy  and 
could  not  get  clear. 

"After  having  made  about  twenty  leagues  due  south  and  a  little  less  to 
the  southeast,  we  came  to  the  river  called  Ouabouskigon,  the  mouth  of  which 
is  thirty-six  degrees  north.  [This  was  the  Wabash  river.]  This  river  comes 
from  the  country  on  the  east  inhabited  by  the  Chaouanous,  in  such  numbers 
that  they  reckon  as  many  as  twenty-three  villages  in  one  district,  and  fifteen 
in  another,  lying  quite  near  each  other.  They  are  by  no  means  warlike  and 
are  the  people  the  Iroquois  go  far  in  order  to  wage  an  unprovoked  war  upon 
them;  and  as  these  poor  people  cannot  defend  themselves  they  allow  them- 
selves to  be  taken  and  carried  off  like  sheep,  and,  innocent  as  they  are,  do  not 
fail  to  experience  the  barbarit}'  of  the  Iroquois  who  burn  them  cruelly. 

"Having  arrived  about  a  half  league  from  Akansea  [Arkansas]  river 
we  saw  two  canoes  coming  towards  us.  The  commander  was  standing  up, 
holding  in  his  hand  a  calumet,  with  which  he  made  signs  according  to  the 
customs  of  the  country.  He  approached  us,  singing  quite  agreeably,  and  in- 
vited us  to  smoke,  after  which  he  presented  us  some  sagimity  and  bread 
made  of  Indian  corn,  of  which  we  ate  a  little.  We  fortunately  found  among 
them  a  man  we  brought  from  Mitchigamen.  By  means  of  him  I  first  spoke  to 
the  assembly  by  ordinary  presents.  They  admired  what  I  told  them  of  God 
and  the  mysteries  of  our  holy  faith,  and  showed  a  great  desire  to  keep  me 
with  them  to  instruct  them. 

"We  then  asked  them  what  they  knew  of  the  sea ;  they  replied  they 
were  only  ten  days'  journey  from  it  (we  could  have  made  the  distance  in  five 
days)  ;  that  they  did  not  know  the  nations  who  inhabited  it.  because  their 
enemies  prevented  their  commerce  with  these  Europeans;  that  the  Indians 
with  fire-arms  whom  we  had  met  were  their  enemies,  who  cut  off  the  passage 
to  the  sea,  and  prevented  their  making  an  acquaintance  with  Europeans,  or 
having  commerce  with  such  nation;  that  besides,  we  should  expose  ourselves 
greatly  by  passing  out  on  the  river.  Since  being  armed,  and  used  to  war.  we 
could  not,  without  danger,  advance  on  that  river  which  they  constantly  occupy. 


"In  the  e\ening  the  Sachems  lielil  a  secret  council  on  the  design  of  some 
to  kill  us  fur  ])lun(ler,  hut  the  chief  Ijroke  up  all  these  schemes,  and  sending  for 
us,  (lanced  the  calumet  in  presence,  and  then,  U>  remo\'e  all  fears,  presented  it 
to  me. 

"AI.  Jollyet  and  1  held  another  council  tu  deliberate  on  what  we  should 
do.  whether  we  should  pusli  on,  or  rest  satisfied  with  the  discovery  we  had 
made,  .\fter  having  attenti\ely  considered  that  we  were  not  far  from  the 
gulf  lit  Mexico,  the  basin  of  which  is  thirt}'-(jne  degrees  north,  anil  we  at 
thirty-three  degrees;  so  that  we  could  not  be  more  than  three  days'  journey; 
that  the  Mississippi  undoubtedly  had  its  mouth  in  Rorida  or  the  Gulf  of 
^Mexico,  and  not  on  tb.e  east  in  \drginia,  whose  sea-coast  is  thirty-four  de- 
grees north,  which  we  had  passed,  without  }-et  having  reached  the  sea,  nor 
on  the  western  side  in  California,  liecause  that  would  recjuire  a  westerly,  or 
west  southwest  course,  and  we  liad  alwa>s  been  going  south.  We  consid- 
ered, moreover,  that  we  risked  losing  the  fruit  of  the  \-uyage,  of  which  we 
could  give  no  information,  if  we  should  throw  oursehes  into  the  hands  of  the 
Spaniartls,  who  would  unduubtedlv  at  least  hold  us  ])risoners.  Besides  it  was 
clear  that  we  were  in  no  position  to  resist  Indians  allied  to  Euroiieans,  numer- 
ous and  expert  in  the  use  of  fire-arms,  who  continually  infested  the  lower 
part  of  the  ri\er.  Lastlv,  we  had  gathered  aM  the  information  that  could  be 
gained  from  the  expedition.  All  these  reasons  induced  us  to  return.  This 
was  announced  to  the  Indians,  and  after  a  day's  rest  prepared  for  it. 

"After  a  month's  navigation  down  the  Mississippi,  from  the  forty-sec- 
ond to  the  thirt)'- fourth  degree,  and  after  having  published  the  gospel  as  well 
as  I  could  to  the  nations  I  met,  we  left  the  village  of  Akansea  on  the  17th  of 
July,  to  retrace  our  steps.  We  accordingly  ascended  the  Mississippi,  which 
gave  us  great  trouble  to  stem  its  currents.  W^e  left  it  indeed  about  the  thirty- 
eighth  degree,  to  enter  another  river  ( the  Illinois ) .  which  greatly  shortened 
our  way.  and  brought  us  little  trouble,  we  soon  arri\-ing  to  the  lake  of  the 

"^^'e  had  seen  nothing  like  this  ri\-er.  for  the  fertilit}-  of  the  land,  its 
prairies,  woods,  wild  cattle,  stag,  deer,  wild-cats,  bustards,  swans,  ducks,  par- 
rots, and  even  beaver ;  its  many  little  lakes  and  rivers.  That  on  which  we 
sailed  is  broad,  deep  and  gentle  for  sixty-five  leagues.  During  the  spring  and 
part  of  the  summer,  the  only  portage  is  half  a  league. 

'A'Ve  found  there  an  Illinois  town  called  Kaskaski.  composed  of  seventy- 
four  cabins;  thev  received  us  well,  and  compelled  me  to  ])romise  them  to  re- 
turn and  instruct  then].     One  of  the  chiefs  of  this  tribe,  with  his  young  men. 



escorted  us  to  Illinois  lake,  whence  at  last  we  returned  in  the  close  of  Septem- 
ber to  the  Bay  of  tlie  Fetid  (Green  bay),  whence  we  had  set  out  in  the  be- 
ginning of  June.  Had  all  this  voyage  caused  but  the  sal\-ation  of  one  soul, 
I  should  deem  all  my  fatigue  well  repaid,  and  this  1  ha\e  reason  to  think,  for 
when  I  was  returning,  1  passed  by  the  Indians  of  Peoria.  I  was  there  three 
days  announcing  the  faith  in  their  cabins,  after  which,  as  we  were  embark- 
ing, thev  brought  me,  on  the  water's  edge,  a  dying  child,  which  I  baptized  a 
little  before  it  expired,  b_\-  an  admiraljle  providence  for  the  sahation  oi  that 
innocent  soul." 

Count  Frontenac,  writing  from  Quebec  to  M.  Colljert,  minister  at 
Paris,  announces  that  "Sr.  Joliet,  whom  Monsieur  Talon  ad\'ised  me,  on  my 
arri\'al  from  France,  to  dispatch  for  the  discovery  of  the  South  sea,  has  re- 
turned three  months  ago.  He  has  discovered  some  very  fine  countries,  and  a 
na\-igation  so  easy  through  beautiful  rivers  he  has  f(iund,  that  a  person  can 
go  from  Lake  Ontario  in  a  Ijark  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  there  being  only  one 
carrying  place  founil  (around  Niagara  Falls),  where  Lake  Ontario  communi- 
cates with  Lake  Erie.  I  send  you  by  my  secretary,  the  map  which  Sr.  Joliet 
has  made  of  the  Great  river  he  has  discovered,  and  the  observations  he  has 
Iseen  able  to  recollect,  as  he  lost  all  his  minutes  and  journals  in  the  ship- 
wreck he  suffered  within  sight  of  Montreal,  where,  after  having  a  completed 
voyage  of  twelve  hundred  leagues,  he  was  near  being  drowmed.  and  lost  all 
his  papers  and  a  little  Indian  whom  he  brought  from  those  countries.  These 
accidents  ha\'e  caused  me  great  regret." 

LA    SALLe's   explorations. 

Governor  Frontenac  of  Quebec  selected  La  Salle  tci  take  command  of 
Fort  Frontenac,  near  Kingston,  on  the  St.  Lawrence  rlvev.  at  that  time  a 
dilapidated,  wooden  structure  on  the  frontier  of  Canada.  La  Salle  remained  in 
Canada  about  nine  years,  acquiring  knowledge  of  the  Indians,  their  man- 
ners, languages,  etc.  He  then  returned  to  France  and  presented  a  petition  to 
the  King,  in  which  he  urged  the  necessity  of  maintaining  Frontenac,  which 
he  offered  to  restore  with  a  structure  of  stone :  to  keep  there  a  garrison  erpial 
to  the  one  in  Montreal;  to  employ  as  man}^  as  fifteen  laborers  during  the  first 
year;  to  clear  and  till  the  land,  and  to  supply  the  surrounding  Indian  villages 
with  Recollect  missionaries  in  furtherance  of  the  cause  of  religion,  all  at  his 
own  expense,  on  condition  that  the  King  would  grant  him  the  right  of  seign- 
iory and  a  monopoly  of  the  trade  incident  to  it.     He  further  petitioned  for 


title  of  nobility  in  consideration  of  voyages  he  had  already  made  in  Canada, 
at  his  own  expense  and  which  had  resulted  in  great  benefit  to  the  King's 
colony.  The  King  heard  the  petition  graciously,  and  on  May  13,  1675, 
granted  La  Salle  and  his  heirs  Fort  Frontenac,  with  four  leagues  of  the  ad- 
jacent country  along  the  lakes  and  rivers  above  and  below  the  fort  and  a 
half  league  inward,  and  the  adjacent  islands,  with  the  right  of  hunting  and 
fishing  on  Lake  Ontario  and  the  near-by  rivers.  The  same  day  he  issued 
La  Salle  a  title  making  him  a  nobleman,  having,  as  the  King  declared,  been 
informed  of  the  worthy  deeds  performed  by  the  people,  either  in  reducing  or 
civilizing  the  savages  or  in  defending  themselves  against  their  frequent  in- 
sults, especially  of  the  Iroquois,  etc..  He  left  France  armed  with  these  pre- 
cious documents  and  repaired  to  Canada,  where  he  performed  the  conditions 
imposed  by  the  terms  of  his  titles.  He  sailed  for  France  again  in  1677,  and 
in  the  following  year,  after  he  and  Colbert  had  finally  matured  their  plans, 
he  again  petitioned  the  King  for  a  license  to  prosecute  further  discoveries. 
The  King  granted  his  request,  giving  him  a  permit,  under  date  of  May  12, 
1678,  to  endeavor  to  discover  the  western  part  of  New  France;  the  King 
avowing  in  the  letters  patent  that  he  had  "nothing  more  at  heart  than  the 
discovery  of  that  country  where  there  is  a  prospect  of  finding  a  way  to  pene- 
trate Mexico,"  and  authorizing  La  Salle  to  prosecute  discoveries,  and  con- 
struct forts  in  such  places  as  he  might  think  necessary,  and  enjoy  there  the 
same  monopoly  as  at  Fort  Frontenac  on  condition  that  the  enterprise  should 
be  conducted  at  La  Salle's  expense  and  completed  within  five  years;  and 
that  he  should  not  trade  with  the  savages,  who  carried  their  peltries  and 
beavers  to  Montreal;  and  that  the  governor,  intendant,  justices  and  other 
officers  of  the  King  in  New  France,  through  the  Prince  de  Conti,  was  intro- 
duced to  one  Henri  de  Tonti,  an  Italian  by  birth,  who  for  eight  years  had 
been  in  the  French  service.  Having  had  one  of  his  hands  shot  off  while  in 
Sicily,  he  repaired  to  France  to  seek  employment.  It  was  a  most  fortunate 
meeting.  Tonti — a  name  that  should  be  prominently  associated  with  dis- 
coveries in  this  part  of  America — became  La  Salle's  companion. 

Supplied  with  this  new  grant  of  enlarged  powers,  La  Salle,  in  company 
with  Tonti,  and  thirty  men,  comprising  pilots,  sailors,  carpenters  and  other 
mechanics,  with  a  supply  of  material  necessary  for  the  intended  expedition, 
left  France  for  Quebec.  Here  the  party  was  joined  by  some  Canadians,  and 
the  whole  force  was  sent  forward  to  Fort  Frontenac,  at  the  outlet  of  Lake 
Ontario,  since  this  fort  had  been  granted  to  La  Salle.  He  had,  in  conform- 
ity to  the  terms  of  his  letters  patent,  greatly  enlarged  and  strengthened  its 


defenses.  Here  he  met  Louis  Hennepin,  a  Franciscan  friar,  whom  it  seems 
had  been  sent  hither,  along  with  Father  Gabriel  de  la  Ribourde,  all  of  the 
same  religious  order,  to  accompany  La  Salle's  expedition.  In  the  meantime 
Hennepin  was  occupied  in  pastoral  labors  among  the  soldiers  of  the  garrison 
and  the  people  of  the  little  hamlet  of  peasants  nearby,  and  proselyting  the 
Indians  of  the  neighboring  country.  Hennepin,  from  his  own  account,  had 
not  only  traveled  over  several  parts  of  Europe  before  coming  to  Canada,  but 
since  his  arrival  in  America  had  spent  much  time  in  roaming  about  among 
the  savages,  to  gratify  his  love  of  adventure  and  acquire  knowledge. 

Hennepin's  name  and  writings  are  so  prominently  connected  with  the 
history  of  the  Mississippi  valley  and  withal,  his  contradictory  statements, 
made  at  a  later  date  of  his  life,  as  to  the  extent  of  his  own  travels,  have  so 
clouded  his  reputation  with  grave  doubt  as  to  his  regard  to  truth,  that  we 
will  give  no  sketch  of  his  life  and  travels,  to  speak  of.  His  first  work  is  gen- 
erally regarded  as  authentic.  That  he  did  go  up  the  Mississippi  river  there 
seems  no  controversy,  while  grave  doubts  prevail  as  to  many  statements  in 
his  last  publication,  which  would  otherwise  pass  without  suspicion  were  they 
not  found  in  company  with  statements  known  to  be  untrue. 

In  the  preface  of  his  work,  published  in  1697,  Father  Hennepin  assigns 
as  a  reason  why  he  did  not  publish  his  descent  of  the  Mississippi  river  in  his 
volume  issued  in  1683,  "that  I  was  obliged  to  say  nothing  of  the  course  of 
the  Mississippi,  from  the  mouth  of  the  Illinois  down  to  the  sea,  for  fear  of 
disobliging  M.  La  Salle,  with  whom  I  began  my  discovery.  This  gentleman 
alone  would  have  the  glory  of  having  discovered  the  course  of  that  river. 
But  when  he  heard  that  I  had  done  it  two  years  before  him  he  could  never 
forgive  me,  though,  as  I  have  said,  I  was  so  modest  as  to  publish  nothing 
of  it.  This  was  the  true  cause  of  his  malice  against  me  and  of  the  barbarous 
usage  I  met  with  in  France." 

Still  his  description  of  places  he  did  visit;  the  aboriginal  names  and 
manners  and  customs  of  the  Indians,  and  other  facts  which  he  had  no  mo- 
tive to  misrepresent,  are  generally  agreed  upon  as  true  in  his  last,  as  well  as 
in  his  first,  publication.  His  works  are  indeed  the  only  repositories  of  many 
interesting  particulars  relating  to  the  Northwest,  and  authors  quote  from  him, 
some  indiscriminately  and  others  with  more  caution,  while  all  criticise  him 
without  measure.  Hennepin,  known  as  "Father  Hennepin."  was  Ijorn  in 
Belgium  in  1640  and  died  at  Utrecht,  Holland,  within  a  few  years  after  the 
publication  of  his  last  book. 



La  Salle  brought  up  the  St.  Lawrence  to  Fort  Frontenac  the  anchors, 
cordage  and  other  material  to  be  used  in  the  vessel  which  he  designed  to 
construct  above  the  Niagara  Falls,  for  na\-igating  the  western  lakes.  He 
already  had  three  small  vessels  on  Lake  Ontario,  which  he  had  made  use  of 
in  a  coasting  trade  with  the  Indians.  One  of  these,  a  brigantine  of  ten  tons, 
was  loaded  with  his  effects;  his  men,  including  Fathers  Gabriel,  Zenobius 
Membre  and  Hennepin,  who  were  commissioned  with  care  of  the  spiritual  di- 
rection of  the  expedition,  were  placed  aboard,  and  Xnxember  i8th  the 
vessel  sailed  westward  for  the  Niagara  river.  Thej-  kept  the  northern  shore, 
and  run  into  land  and  bartered  for  corn  with  the  Iroquois  at  one  of  their 
villages,  situated  where  Toronto,  Canada,  is  located,  and  for  fear  of  being 
frozen  in  the  ri\er,  which  here  empties  into  the  lake,  had  to  cut  the  ice  from 
about  their  ship.  Detained  by  ad\-erse  winds,  they  remained  here  until  the 
wind  was  favorable,  when  they  sailed  across  the  end  of  the  lake  and  found 
anchorage  in  the  mouth  of  Niagara  river  on  December  6th.  The  season  was 
far  advanced  and  the  ground  covered  with  snow-  fully  a  foot  deep.  Large 
masses  of  ice  were  floating  and  it  became  necessary  to  protect  the  ship,  hence 
it  was  drawn  up  against  the  current,  by  means  of  strong  cables,  and  finally 
dragged  to  the  shore.  A  cabin,  to  protect  with  palisades,  for  shelter  and  to 
serve  as  a  magazine  to  store  supplies  in,  was  also  constructed.  The  ground 
w^as  frozen  so  hard  that  it  had  to  be  thawed  out  with  boiling  water  l^efore  the 
men  could  drive  the  stakes.  La  Salle  now  commenced  to  plan  for  his  new 
boat.  The  ground  was  cleared  away,  trees  felled,  and  carpenters  were  set 
to  work  January  26th,  and  some  of  the  plank  being  ready  to  fasten  on.  La 
Salle  dro\-e  the  first  spike.  As  the  work  progressed  La  Salle  made  several 
trips,  over  snow  and  ice,  for  the  purpose  of  hurrying  matters  along  by  secur- 
ing his  needed  materials.  One  of  his  vessels  was  lost  on  Lake  Ontario,  heav- 
ily laden  with  a  cargo  of  \-aluable  supplies,  through  the  fault  or  wilful  per\-er- 
sity  of  her  pilot.  The  Iroquois  Indians  were  causing  La  Salle  all  kinds  of  trou- 
ble and  these  savage  depredations,  want  of  wholesome  food,  the  loss  of  the 
vessel  on  the  lake,  and  a  refusal  of  the  neighboring  tribes  to  sell  any 
more  store  of  their  corn,  reduced  the  party  to  such  extremities  that  the  ship- 
carpenters  tried  to  run  away.  They  were  finally  persuaded  to  remain  and 
prosecute  the  work.  Six  months  later  the  new  boat  was  finished,  and  had 
been  set  afloat  even  prior  to  that  time,  to  avoid  the  designs  of  the  Indians. 
She  was  sixty  tons  burden,  and  called  the  "Griffin."     It  was  not  until  August, 


1679,  that  her  canvas  was  spread  and  the  pilot,  steering  Ijy  the  compass,  with 
La  Salle  and  his  thirty  or  more  men,  sailed  out  westward  upon  the  unknown, 
silent  waters  of  Lake  Erie.  Three  days'  sailing  brought  them  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Detroit  river.  Father  Hennepin  was  fairly  delighted  with  the  coun- 
try along  the  river  last  mentioned.  So  charmed  was  he  that  he  undertook  to 
persuade  La  Salle  to  settle  at  "De  Troit."  But  La  Salle  would  not  listen  to  his 
plea,  but  steadily  pressed  onward  and  after  nearly  being  shipwrecked  in  a 
storm,  he  finally  reached  the  island  of  Mackinaw.  La  Salle,  it  must  be  re- 
membered, had  two  objecLs — first,  his  interest  in  the  commerce  of  the  new, 
wild  country,  the  purchase  (_)f  \aluable  furs,  and  secondly,  his  interest  in  mak- 
ing discoveries  and  explorations  for  his  King,  as  he  had  contracted  to  do. 
Here  La  Salle  made  a  hasty  decision  that  really  was  the  worst  step  he  ever 
took  in  his  career.  This  was  in  sending  the  ship  liack  down  the  waters  of  the 
lakes,  and  then  himself  to  prosecute  his  voyage  the. rest  of  the  way  to  the 
head  of  Lake  Michigan  in  frail  birchen  canoes.  It  delayed  his  discoveries  for 
two  long  years,  brought  severe  hardships  upon  himself  and  greatly  embar- 
rassed all  his  future  plans.  The  "Griffin"  was  lost,  with  all  her  cargo.  She 
nor  her  crew  was  ever  heard  of  after  leaving  the  Pottawatomie  islands  and 
what  became  of  the  ship  and  men  in  charge  remains  a  myster\'  to  this  day. 
La  Salle  himself  grew  into  a  settled  conviction  that  the  "'Griffin"  had  been 
treacherously  sunk  by  the  pilot  and  sailors  to  whom  he  had  entrusted  her, 
and  in  after  years  thought  he  had  found  evidence  that  the  authors  of  the 
crime,  laden  with  the  merchandise  they  had  taken  from  her,  had  reached 
the  Mississippi  and  ascended  it,  hoping  to  join  De  Shut,  the  famous  chief  of 
the  Coureurs  de  Bois,  and  enrich  themselves  by  traffic  with  the  northern 

The  following  is,  in  part,  Hennepin's  account  of  La  Salle's  voyage  in 
canoes  frotn  the  mouth  of  Green  Bay  south  along  the  shore  of  Lake  Michi- 
gan, past  Milwaukee  and  Chicago  and  around  the  southern  end  of  the  lake; 
thence  along  the  eastern  shore  to  the  mouth  of  St.  Joseph  river;  thence  up 
that  stream  to  South  Bend,  making  the  portage  here  to  the  headwaters  of 
the  Kankakee;  thence  down  the  Kankakee  and  Illinois  through  Peoria  lake. 
The  privation  and  suffering  to  which  La  Salle  and  his  party  were  exposed 
in  navigating  Lake  Michigan  at  that  early  (.lay,  and  late  in  the  autunm  of  tlie 
year,  when  the  waters  were  vexed  with  storms,  illustrate  the  courage  and 
daring  of  such  an  undertaking.  Hennepin  says:  "We  left  the  Pottawatomie 
islands  to  continue  our  voyage,  being  fourteen  men  in  all,  in  four  canoes.  I 
had  charge  of  the  smallest,  which  carried  five  hundred  weight  and  two  men. 


My  companions  being  recently  from  Europe  and  unskilled  with  such  boats, 
left  me  to  handle  the  same  in  time  of  storms. 

"The  canoes  were  laden  with  a  smith's  forge,  utensils,  tools  for  carpen- 
ters, joiners  and  sawyers,  besides  our  goods  and  arms.  We  steered  to  the 
south  toward  mainland,  from  which  the  Pottawatomie  islands  are  distant 
forty  leagues ;  but  about  midway,  and  in  the  night-time,  we  were  greatly  en- 
dangered by  a  sudden  stonn.  The  waves  dashed  into  our  faces,  the  night  was 
dark  and  we  had  much  difficulty  in  keeping  our  canoes  together.  The  day- 
light coming  on,  we  reached  the  shore,  where  we  remained  four  days,  waiting 
for  the  lake  to  grow  calm.  In  the  meantime  our  Indian  hunter  went  ashore 
in  search  of  game,  but  killing  nothing  other  than  a  porcupine;  this,  however, 
made  our  Indian  corn  relishing.  The  weather  became  fair,  we  resumed  our 
voyage,  rowing  all  day  and  well  into  the  night,  along  the  western  coast  of  the 
lake  of  Illinois.  The  wind  again  grew  too  fresh,  and  we  landed  upon  a  rocky 
beach  where  we  had  nothing  to  protect  ourselves  against  a  storm  of  snow  and 
rain,  except  the  clothing  on  our  persons.  We  remained  here  two  days  for  the 
sea  to  go  down,  having  made  a  little  fire  from  the  wood  cast  ashore  by  the 
waves.  We  proceeded  on  our  voyage,  and  toward  evening  the  winds  again 
forced  us  to  the  beach  covered  with  rushes,  where  we  remained  three  days; 
and  in  the  meantime  our  provision,  consisting  of  only  pumpkins  and  Indian 
corn,  purchased  from  the  Pottawatomies,  entirely  gave  out.  Our  canoes  were 
so  heavily  laden  that  we  could  not  carry  provisions  with  us,  and  we  were 
compelled  to  rely  on  bartering  for  such  supplies  on  our  way.  We  left  this 
dismal  place,  and  after  rowing  twelve  leagues  came  to  another  Pottawatomie 
village,  whose  inhabitants  stood  upon  the  beach  to  receive  us.  But  M.  La 
Salle  refused  to  let  any  one  land,  notwithstanding  the  severity  of  the  weather, 
fearing  some  of  his  men  might  run  away.  We  were  in  such  great  peril  that 
La  Salle  flung  himself  into  the  water,  after  we  had  gone  three  leagues  farther, 
and,  with  the  aid  of  three  men,  carried. the  canoe  of  which  he  had  charge  upon 
their  shoulders,  otherwise  it  would  have  been  broken  to  pieces  by  the  waves. 
We  were  obliged  to  do  the  same  with  the  other  canoes.  I  myself  carried  the 
good  Father  Gabriel  upon  my  back,  his  age  being  so  well  advanced  as  not  to 
admit  of  his  venturing  in  the  water.  We  took  ourselves  to  a  piece  of  rising 
ground  to  avoid  surprise,  as  we  had  no  manner  of  acquaintance  with  the 
great  number  of  savages  whose  village  was  so  near  at  hand.  We  sent  three 
men  into  the  village  to  buy  provisions,  under  the  protection  of  the  calumet 
("pipe-of-peace"),  which  the  Indians  had  presented  us  as  a  means  of  intro- 
duction to,  and  a  measure  of  safety  against  other  tribes  that  we  might  meet 
on  our  way." 


Father  Hennepin  continues:  "Our  three  men,  carrying  the  calumet  and 
being  well  armed,  went  to  the  little  village  about  three  leagues  from  the 
place  we  had  landed;  they  found  no  one  at  home,  for  the  inhabitants,  having 
heard  that  we  refused  to  land  at  the  other  village,  supposed  we  were  enemies 
and  had  abandoned  their  habitations.  In  their  absence  our  men  took  some 
of  their  corn,  and  left  instead  some  goods,  to  let  them  know  we  were  neither 
enemies  nor  robbers.  Twenty  of  the  inhabitants  of  this  village  came  to  our 
encampment  on  the  beach,  armed  with  axes,  small  guns,  bows,  and  a  sort  of 
a  club,  which  in  their  language,  means  a  head-breaker.  La  Salle,  with  four 
well-armed  men,  advanced  toward  them  for  the  purpose  of  opening  a  con- 
versation. He  requested  them  to  come  near  us,  saying  he  had  a  party  of 
hunters  out  who  might  come  across  them  and  take  their  lives.  They  came 
forward  and  took  seats  at  the  foot  of  an  eminence,  where  we  were  en- 
camped, and  La  Salle  amused  them  with  the  relation  of  his  voyage,  which  he 
informed  them  he  had  undertaken  for  their  advantage  and  thus  occupied 
their  time  until  the  arrival  of  the  three  men  who  had  been  sent  out  with  the 
calumet,  on  seeing  which  the  savages  gave  a  great  shout,  arose  to  their  feet 
and  danced  about.  We  excused  our  men  from  having  taken  some  of  their 
corn,  and  informed  them  that  we  had  left  its  true  value  in  goods ;  they  were 
so  well  pleased  with  this  that  they  immediately  sent  for  more  corn,  and  on 
the  next  day  they  made  us  a  gift  of  as  much  as  we  could  conveniently  carry 
in  our  canoes. 

"The  next  morning  the  old  men  of  the  tribe  came  to  us  with  their  calu- 
met of  peace,  and  entertained  us  with  a  free  offering  of  wild  goats,  which 
their  own  hunters  had  taken.  In  return,  we  presented  them  with  our  thanks, 
accompanied  with  some  axes,  knives,  and  several  little  toys  for  their  wives, 
with  all  which  they  were  veiy  much  pleased.  We  left  this  place  the  following 
morning  and  soon  encountered  a  four-days  storm. 

"November  ist  we  again  embarked  on  the  lake  and  came  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Miamis,  which  comes  from  the  southeast  and  falls  into  the  lake." 

La  Salle  and  his  party  entered  Kaskaska  village,  near  Peoria  lake,  April 
8,  1677.  The  Indians  gave  him  hearty  welcome  and  flocked  from  all  direc- 
tions to  the  town  to  hear  the  "Black  Gown"  relate  the  truths  of  Christianity. 
December  3,  1679,  the  explorers  embarked,  being  in  all  thirty-three  men  and 
eight  canoes.  They  left  the  lake  of  Illinois  and  went  up  the  river  of  the 
Miamis,  which  they  had  before  made  soundings  of.  Hennepin  says:  "We 
made  about  five  and  twenty  leagues  southward,  but  failed  to  discover  the 
place  where  we  were  to  land,  and  carry  our  canoes  and  effects  into  the  river 


of  Illinois,  which  falls  into  that  of  the  Mississippi.  \\"e  had  already  gone  be- 
yond the  portage,  and,  not  knowing  where  we  were,  we  thought  proper  to 
remain  there,  as  we  were  expecting  M.  La  Salle,  who  had  taken  to  the  land  to 
view  the  country.  He  was  lost  for  a  time,  but  finally  came  to  the  rest  of  his 

La  Salle  then  rebuilt  Fort  Miamis  and  finally  abandoned  his  voyage 
down  the  Mississippi  by  sailing  boats  and  concluded  to  go  by  ordinary 
wooden  pirogues  or  canoes.  Tonti  was  sent  forward  to  Chicago  creek, 
where  he  constructed  a  number  of  sledges.  After  other  preparations  had 
been  made,  La  Salle  and  his  party  left  St.  Joseph,  came  around  the  lake,  and 
placed  their  effects  in  sledges.  His  party  consisted  of  twenty-three  French- 
men and  eighteen  Indians.  The  savages  took  with  them  ten  squaws  and 
three  children,  making  in  all  fifty- four  persons.  They  had  to  make  the  port- 
age of  the  Chicago  river.  After  dragging  their  canoes,  sledges,  baggage  and 
pro\'isions,  about  eighty  leagues  over  the  ice,  on  the  Desplaines  and  Illinois 
rivers,  they  came  to  an  old  Indian  town.  The  expedition  continued  down,  as 
fast  as  weather  would  permit,  to  the  Mississippi.  Bearing  down  that  wonder- 
ful stream,  they  finally,  on  April  6th,  came  to  the  place  into  where  the  river 
begins  to  divide  into  several  channels  and  empty  into  the  gulf  of  Mexico.  La 
Salle,  in  a  canoe,  coasted  the  borders  of  the  sea,  and  then  the  parties  assem- 
bled on  a  dry  spot  of  grounil,  not  far  from  the  mouth  of  the  river.  On  April 
9th,  with  all  the  pomp  and  ceremony  of  the  Holy  Catholic  church.  La  Salle, 
in  the  name  of  the  King  of  France,  took  possession  of  the  Mississippi  and 
all  its  tributaries.  The  entire  party,  civilized  and  savage,  present  with  the 
expedition  fired  their  grms  and  shouted,  "Vive  le  Rio."  La  Salle  planted  the 
column,  at  the  same  time  proclaiming,  in  a  loud  voice,  "In  the  name  of  the 
Most  High,  Mighty,  Invincible  and  Victorious  Prince,  Louis  the  Great,  by 
the  Grace  of  God,  King  of  France  and  of  Navarre,  fourteenth  of  that  name, 
I,  this  ninth  day  of  April,  one  thousand  six  hundred  and  eighty-two,  in  vir- 
tue of  the  commission  of  bis  Majesty  and  his  successors  to  the  crown,  take 
possession  of  this  country  of  Louisiana,  the  seas,  harbors,  ])orts,  bays,  adja- 
cent straits,  and  all  the  people,  nations,  provinces,  cities,  towns,  villages,  mines, 
minerals,  fisheries,  streams  and  rivers  within  the  extent  of  the  said  Louisiana, 
from  the  mouth  of  the  great  river  St.  Louis,  otherwise  called  Ohio,  as  also 
along  the  ri\-er  Colbert,  or  Mississippi,  and  the  ri\-ers  that  discharge  them- 
selves therein  from  its  source  beyond  the  country  of  the  Sioux,  as  far  as  its 
mouth  at  the  sea,  and  also  to  the' mouth  of  the  river  Palms,  upon  the  assur- 
ance we  have  had  from  the  nati\-es  of  countries  that  we  were  the  fii'st 


Europeans  who  have  descended  or  ascended  the  river  Colbert  (Mississippi)  ; 
hereby  protesting  against  all  who  may  hereafter  undertake  to  invade  any  or  all 
of  these  aforesaid  countries,  peoples  or  lands,  to  the  prejudice  of  His  Ma- 
jesty, acquired  by  the  consent  of  the  nations  dwelling  herein.  Of  which,  and 
of  all  else  that  is  needful.  I  hereby  take  to  witness  those  who  hear  nie,  and 
demand  an  act  of  the  notary  here  present." 

At  the  foot  of  the  tree  to  which  the  cross  was  attached  La  Salle  caused 
to  be  buried  a  leaden  plate,  on  the  one  side  of  which  were  engraven  the  arms 
of  France,  and  on  the  opposite,  the  following  Latin  inscription  : 

"Louis  the  Great  reigns.  Robert  Cavalier,  with  Lord  Tonti  as  lieutenant. 
R.  P.  Zenobe  Membre.  Recollect,  and  twenty-two  l^'renchmen.  first  na\i- 
gated  this  stream  from  the  country  of  the  Illinois,  and  also  passed  through  its 
mouth,  on  the  9th  of  April,  1682.'' 

Thus  was  completed  the  disco\ery  and  taking  p(_)ssessi(jn  of  the  Missis- 
sippi valley,  and  France  became  the  rightful  owner  of  all  that  section  of  the 
country  known  as  such  now,  including  the  states  of  Illinois  and  Indiana — in 
fact  all  that  country  bounded  on  the  east  by  the  Alleghanies  and  extending 
west  to  the  Rocky  mountains.  Had  France,  with  the  same  energy  she  pur- 
sued in  discovering  Louisiana,  retained  her  grasp  upon  this  territory,  the 
dominant  race  in  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi  would  have  been  Gallic  instead 
of  Anglo-Saxon. 

From  this  period  until  1698  the  French  made  no  further  attempts  to 
colonize  the  lower  Mississippi.  They  had  no  settlements  below  the  Ohio, 
and  above  the  Illinois  river  and  in  the  lake  regions  the\'  had  only  a  chain  of 
forts  or  posts.  The  next  move  on  the  part  of  France  w  as  to  grant  to  Crozat 
in  September,  17 12,  a  monopoly  on  all  the  domain  aI)ove  described.  This 
grant  was  by  Louis  XIV,  and  Crozat  failed  after  three  years  and,  about  171 7, 
surrendered  his  grant  back  to  the  King  of  France  and  the  same  year  the 
King  turned  the  possessions  all  o\-er  to  "The  Mississippi  Company,"  later 
styled  the  "Company  of  the  Indies."  The  head  of  this  companv  was  John. 
Law,  a  famous  Scotch  banker,  a  regular  "get-rich-quick"  style  of  a  man.  Bv 
this  company,  however  signally  it  finally  failed,  it  did  colonize  and  till  the  soil 
and  erect  forts  and  trading  posts.  It  had  its  day  and  in  1731  the  Indies  Com- 
pany surrendered  to  F"rance,  Louisiana,  with  its  forts,  plantations,  colonies, 
etc.,  and  from  thia  time  forward  to  the  conquest  of  Great  Britain  the  domain 
was  governed  by  French  appointed  officers.  France  held  possession  to  the 
country  in  question  until  the  Revolutionary  struggle,  which  inxohed  the 
colonies  and  France,  as  well  as  the  supposed  right  of  Indian  tribes..    After 


hostilities  had  ceased  between  Great  Britain  and  America,  though  the  treaty 
of  Paris  was  not  concluded  until  February,  1783,  the  most  essential  parts  of 
which  are  contained  in  the  following  extracts : 

"In  order  to  establish  peace  on  solid  and  durable  foundations,  and  to 
remove  forever  all  subjects  of  dispute  with  regard  to  the  lines  of  the  limits 
of  the  British  and  French  territories  on  the  continent  of  America,  it  is  agreed 
that  for  the  future  the  confines  between  the  dominions  of  his  Brittanic  Ma- 
jesty and  those  of  His  Most  Christian  Majesty  in  that  part  of  the  world, 
shall  be  fixed  irrevocably  by  a  line  drawn  along  the  middle  of  the  river  Mis- 
sissippi from  its  source  to  the  river  Iberville,  and  from  thence  by  a  line  drawn 
along  the  middle  of  the  river  and  the  lakes  Maurepas  and  Pontchartrain,  to 
the  sea ;  and  for  this  purpose  the  most  Christian  King  cedes  in  full  right,  and 
guarantees  to  his  Brittanic  Majesty  the  river  and  port  of  Mobile,  and  every- 
thing which  he  possesses,  or  ought  to  possess,  on  the  left  side  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, with  the  exception  of  the  town  of  New  Orleans  and  of  the  island  on 
which  it  is  situated  it  being  well  understood  that  the  navigation  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi shall  be  equally  free,  as  well  to  the  subjects  of  Great  Britain  as  to 
those  of  France,  in  its  whole  length  and  breadth,  from  its  source  to  the  sea." 

With  the  termination  of  the  Revolution,  and  the  success  of  the  American 
colonies,  England  had  to  yield  its  claim  on  this  territory,  and  emigration  com- 
menced pouring  into  the  Northwest  Territory,  until  it  had  become  large 
enough  in  population  to  be  divided  into  smaller  territories.  The  act  of  Con- 
gress of  the  United  States  making  such  first  division  was  dated  May  7,  t8oo, 
and  this  subdivision  included  what  is  now  the  state  of  Indiana. 


In  1828  the  general  government  purchased  the  "ten.  mile  strip"  along  the 
northern  end  of  the  state,  and  in  1832  extinguished  the  remaining  claims  of 
the  Indians,  save  the  numerous  reservations  in  the  northern  part.  In  1835 
the  greater  part  of  the  natives  were  removed  west  of  the  Mississip])i,  and  in 
1840  all  save  a  few  had  emigrated  from  special  resei-vations.  As  the  state 
was  thus  left  free  for  settlement,  the  surveyor  pioneered  the  advancing  civi- 
lization, and  counties  were  rapidly  organized  in  response  to  the  growing  de- 
mand of  the  increasing  population.  The  tide  of  immigration  came  princi- 
pally from  the  South  at  first,  and  later  from  the  East,  the  organization  of 
counties  giving  a  pretty  clear  indication  of  the  nature  of  this  development. 
At  the  organization  of  the  state  government,  fifteen  counties  had  been  formed, 
and  others  were  organized  as  follows:     1817,  Daviess,  Pike,  Jennings,  Sul- 


livan;  1818,  Crawford,  Dubois,  Lawrence,  Monroe,  Randolph,  Ripley,  Spen- 
cer, Vanderburg,  Vigo;  1819,  Fayette,  Parke,  Union;  1822,  Decatur,  Marion, 
Morgan,  Putnam,  Rush,  Shelby;  1823,  Hamilton,  Johnson,  Madison,  Mont- 
gomery; 1824,  Allen,  Hendricks,  Vermillion;  1825,  Clay;  1826,  Delaware, 
Fountain,  Tippecanoe;  1828,  Carroll,  Hancock,  Warren;  1829,  Cass;  1830, 
Boone,  Clinton,  Elkhart,  St.  Joseph;  1831,  Grant;  1832,  LaGrange,  LaPorte; 
1834,  Huntington,  White;  1835,  Miami,  Wabash;  1836,  Adams,  Brown, 
DeKalb,  Fulton,  Kosciusko,  Marshall,  Noble,  Porter;  1837,  Blackford. 
Lake,  Steuben,  Wells,  Jay;  1838,  Jasper;  1840,  Benton;  1842,  Whitley;  1844, 
Howard,  Ohio,  Tipton;  1850,  Starke;  1859,  Newton. 



At  least  two  races  of  men  had  inhabited  Parke  and  adjoining  counties 
prior  to  the  achent  of  white  men — the  red-brown  savages  we  style  Indians, 
and  the  other,  that  mysterious  type  of  men  and  women  generally  called 
Mound  Builders,  and  of  whom  we  know  but  little,  save  the  fact  that  they 
preceded  the  red  man  and  left  great  memr,rials  in  the  sha])e  of  mounds,  in 
which  in  manv  instances  are  found  tools  and  implements  of  ipiite  a  high  ty])e 
of  cix'ilization,  much  liigber  than  those  found  among  the  Indian  peo])le  when 
white  men  first  visited  this  section.  Parke  county,  howe\-er,  was  not  so 
favorite  a  spot  for  the  abiding  place  of  this  first  race  as  was  the  country  along 
the  ^^'abash  and  other  streams,  and  in  Vermillion  county  these  numerous 
mounds  stand  out  as  bold  and  impressive  works  of  a  jjeople  long  .since  passed 
into  death  and  oblivion.  They  were  certainly  a  part  of  the  great  creation  of 
man.  Init  as  to  their  manner  of  life,  their  aspirations  and  achie\'ements  and 
how  the\-  became  extinct,  not  the  slightest  ]M)siti\-e  record  has  lieen  left  In- 
them.  However,  those  who  have  spent  a  lifetime  in  research  claim  that  all 
e\'idence  jjoints  to  the  fact  that  they  originally  came  here  from  tlie  far  snuth. 
possibly  Central  .\merica:  that  they  were  at  least  half  cixilized,  and.  fullowing 
up  the  streams,  Iniilt  well  fortified  towns  along  them  and  tilled  the  terraced 
lands  and  "second  bottoms :"'  that  thev  finally  l)ecame  inxnhed  in  a  great  war 
with  the  natives  of  this  north  land,  and  that  the  last  of  them  left  the  Ohio 
and  ^lississippi  valleys  more  than  a  thousand  years  ago.  Certain  it  is  that 
time  enough  has  elapsed  since  their  exodus  for  trees  to  grow  up  through  the 
mounds  they  made  and  which  are  now  more  than  four  feet  in  diameter. 
Copper  implements  unknown  to  Indian  life  and  industry  are  now  and  then 
unearthed  by  those  in  search  of  such  relics.  The  next  race  to  jiossess  the 
territory  included  in  Parke  county  was  the  North  American  Indian,  six 
tribes  at  least  of  which,  at  one  time  or  another  dwelt  here.  Their  uniform 
course  has  been  from  north  to  south,  rolling  wave  on  wave,  each  invasion 
driving  its  predecessors  before  it,  and  all  originating  in  the  common  center 
of  the  great  Northwest.  The  Athabasca  basin  appears  to  be  the  great 
"northern  hi\-e"'   from  which  manv  Indian  tribes  have  swarmed.      So  far  as 


our  knowledge  goes  the  lUiiii  tribe  were  tlriven  awa)-  by  the  Hnroii-Iroqiiois. 
and  tradition  tells  us  that  desperate  battles  ensued  between  these  tribes  along 
Sugar  creek  and  the  river  ^^'abash.  Next  in  turn,  came  the  great  nation 
known  as  the  Wabash,  or  the  Miamis.  The  b>ench  first  met  this  tribe  in 
northern  Iowa;  thence  they  came,  generation  after  generatii;)n  farther  south, 
driving  other  nations  before  them;  and  as  they  came  they  divided  themselves 
into  three  bands,  the  Weas.  Miamis  and  Piankeshaws.  Idie  latter  crossed 
the  Wabash  early  in  the  eighteenth  century  and  had  possession  on  l)oth  sides 
from  Tippecanoe  to  the  Ohio.  These  may  rightfully  lie  styled  our  aborigines, 
for  they  and  the  original  Aliamis  were  the  dominant  tril)e  when  the  vhite 
race  came  here  to  remain.  To  these  Indians  came  the  b'rencli  traders  and 
missionaries  e\'en  |)rior  to  1700:  posts  were  established,  and  it  was  not  long 
before  a  mixed  race  arose  known  as  the  Franco-AIiamis.  and  this  was  long 
before  a  word  of  English  had  ever  jieen  heard  west  of  the  Scioto.  These 
Piankeshaws  in  1705-12  had  a  village  on  .Sugar  creek,  the  stream  by  them 
called  Pun-go-se-co-ne  ("Water  of  many  sugar  trees"),  and  to  that  village 
came  a  young  Frenchman  cpiite  early  in  that  century,  an  account  of  which 
\\as  published  in  1718  by  the  Catholic  church. 

Xext  came  the  bloodthirsty  Pottawatomies.  which  trilje  originated  in 
the  wooded  wilderness  of  the  Lake  Huron  flistrict.  and  who  by  successi\"e 
struggles  against  other  tribes  finally  succeeded,  in  1790.  in  reaching  the  lower 
Wabash.  The  Miamis  yielded  them  a  share  of  their  country,  rather  than 
engage  in  a  war  of  extermination.  Pushed  on  by  the  Sioux  nation,  the 
Kickapoos  swept  down  from  the  north  and  in  1796  had  a  A'illage  north  of 
the  Vermillion,  and  in  the  early  days  were  numerous  on  this  side  of  the 
Wabash,  though  generally  belie\-ed  liy  pioneers  to  lia\e  been  merely  squatters 
among  the  ]\Iiamis.  Next  came  the  Shawnees.  who  were  dri\en  from  Lake 
Erie  by  the  L'oquois  and  fought  their  way  l;iy  slow  process  to  the  l)end  of  the 
Tennessee ;  thence,  in  turn,  they  were  dri\'en  by  the  Cherokees,  when  they 
moved  southeast  and  settled  in  Florida.  After  one  generation.  the\'  again 
started  northward,  in  various  bands:  the  main  one  appealed  to  the  Miamis 
for  succor,  was  received  by  them,  and  soon  after  was  permanently  incor- 
porated among  the  Indians  of  the  Wabash.  Shawnee  creek  and  Prairie  creek, 
in  Fountain  county,  indicate  one  of  their  strongholds,  but  thev  are  reallv 
known  best  to  the  whites  from  having  produced  the  noted  warrior  Tecumseh 
and  his  brother,  the  Prophet.  In  all  the  negotiations  with  n(]\-ernor  Harrison, 
preceding  the  famous  battle  of  Tippecanoe,  all  the  other  Indians  insisted  that 
the  Shawnees  were  only  squatters  here  and  had  no  equal  rights  or  title  to 


lands  here;  and  to  this  fact,  perhaps,  is  due  the  strangely  conglomerate  char- 
acter of  Tecumseh's  confederacy. 

The  Delawares  were  first  found  by  the  whites  on  Delaware  bay,  where 
they  called  themselves  Lenni-Lennape,  or  "original  men,"  but  were  called  by 
the  other  Indians  the  Wau-pan-nek-ee,  and  recognized  as  the  common  ances- 
tors of  the  most  powerful  tribes  of  the  south,  including  the  Powhatan  Indians 
and  the  Cherokees.  As  late  as  1880,  in  the  Indian  Territory,  this  claim  was 
recognized,  and  in  the  peculiar  ranking  of  the  tribes  in  council  the  Delaware 
sits  as  the  grandfather.  The  Quakers  made  a  treaty  with  them  at  the  start, 
and  kept  it ;  but  all  the  same,  the  Indians  lost  their  lands,  and  grew  poor  and 
hostile.  Thence  they  were  pushed  back,  foot  by  foot,  across  the  continent, 
till,  in  1799,  a  treaty  bearing  the  signature  of  John  Adams  recognized  them 
as  owners  of  all  Indiana  between  the  White  and  Ohio  rivers.  They  still  fell 
back  slowly,  and  from  1800  to  1820  were  numerous  in  Parke  county;  but 
about  the  time  our  pioneers  came  they  were  concentrating  near  the  middle  of 
the  state,  which  was  their  last  stronghold  in  Indiana.  Among  their  chiefs 
who  figured  in  this  region  was  Captain  Anderson.  Such  were  the  various 
tribes  who  contributed  to  form  the  Indian  population  of  this  valley,  and 
thus  it  was  that  our  pioneers  saw  individuals  of  all  these  tribes,  the  Pianke- 
shaw-Miamis  being  most  numerous  on  Sugar  creek  and  upper  Raccoon, 
while  the  Weas  and  their  conquerors  were  dominant  along  the  Wabash  below 

"Such  were  our  predecessors.  Their  names  we  know,  their  fate  we 
know  and  something  of  their  habits ;  but  fancy  strives  in  vain  to  portray  the 
country  as  it  looked  to  their  eyes.  The  change  has  been  too  great  for  us.  To 
see  it  as  it  was  then  is  impossible.  The  traveler  who  now  enters  this  county 
on  either  of  our  railroads  is  whirled  along  in  soothing  motion  through  sylvan 
scenes,  which  disclose  every  moment  a  new  beauty.  Now  from  the  car 
window  he  looks  upon  a  neat  village  where,  in  happy  homes,  the  fair  little 
Saxons  play  in  secured  peace;  now  he  looks  upon  a  well-kept  farm,  its 
granaries  full  and  its  owner  busy  among  his  flocks  and  herds  or  in  his  well- 
tilled  fields.  Again  he  sees  the  open  groves  where  blooded  stock  grazes  in 
peaceful  content ;  and  yet  again  the  dark  green  woods  and  open  vista  beyond 
which  shows  the  home-like  farm  house,  set  in  elegant  shrubbery  and  sur- 
rounded by  the  charming  blue  grass.  Here  he  sees  the  indications  of  a  coal 
mine;  there  of  a  rock  quarry  and  yonder  other  marks  of  an  industrious  race. 
And  again  he  passes  for  miles  through  gently  rolling  fields  whence  comes  the 
scent  of  clover  or  new-mown  hay,  and  is  cheered  by  the  rattle  of  the  reaper 


and  the  hum  of  laboring  grangers.  Not  less  does  he  see  on  every  command- 
ing point  the  pretty  white  church  with  heavenward-pointing  spire  or  the 
district  school  house,  or  more  pretentious  academy. 

"A  hundred  years  ago  how  different  the  scene.  An  unbroken  forest 
spread  from  north  to  south  and  from  the  eastern  border  to  the  small  prairie 
which  lines  the  Wabash  below  Montezuma.  Along  the  highest  land  between 
the  two  Racoons  ran  an  Indian  trace  from  Weautanon,  or  Orchardtown 
(Terre  Haute),  to  Ouiatenon.  Down  the  Wabash  came  the  light  pirogue  of 
the  French-Canadian  or  the  lighter  canoe  of  the  red  man;  and  along  the 
creeks  the  savages  hunted  or  fished  or  idled  away  the  long  summer  days. 
Sugar  creek,  from  its  source  to  its  mouth,  had  witnessed  many  a  hard-fought 
battle  between  Indian  tribes  who  contended  for  its  possession,  but  now  the 
Miamis  band  held  it  in  peace.  They  found  in  its  waters,  alive  with  fish,  an 
unfailing  resource  when  game  was  scarce.  From  the  mouth  of  the  Leather- 
wood  to  the  Wabash  extended  a  straggling  village  of  Wea-miamis,  at  the 
head  of  which  in  later  years  was  a  chief  with  an  unpronounceable  name  whom 
the  whites  familiarly  called  Johnny  Green.  On  Sugar  creek,  we  know  not 
exactly  where,  was  another  village,  and  along  Big  Raccoon  were  a  few  small 
settlements,  inhabited  only  in  winter.  Sugar  creek  through  its  upper  course 
ran  then,  as  now,  between  bold  and  rock  bluffs,  but  no  other  creek  in  the 
county  was  anything  like  it  is  now.  They  consisted  rather  of  long,  deep 
ponds  connected  with  shallow  ripples,  and  Big  Raccoon  through  much  of  its 
lower  course  had  no  defined  channel.  Beaver  dams  and  immense  drifts 
obstructed  its  course,  and  for  miles  in  a  place  the  stream  extended  almost 
from  bluff  to  bluff,  a  long  swamp  with  a  slow  current.  Indeed,  as  late  as 
1850,  many  of  the  creeks  in  this  county  had  a  more  uniform  volume  of  water 
in  summer  than  now,  and  contained  many  long,  deep  pools  joined  iDy  ripples; 
and  the  Wabash  remained  navigable  till  late  in  the  summer  for  Ohio  steamers. 
None  of  the  streams  rose  so  suddenly,  or  so  high  as  now,  and  none  fell  so 
low  in  the  summer.  The  Wabash  had  at  least  twice  the  summer  volume  it 
now  has,  and  even  such  small  streams  as  Mill  creek.  This  was  also  true  of 
Williams  creek  and  Rock  ran,  each  and  all  being  good  fishing  runs  and 
remained  good  mill  streams  till  1830-40.  The  rain  fall  of  the  year  has  not 
decreased,  but  it  was  then  more  evenly  distributed  in  time.  The  further  change 
is  accounted  for  by  the  clearing  of  the  land  and  the  draining  of  the  swamps, 
allowing  the  falling  rains  to  discharge  more  rapidly.  Such  were  a  few  of 
the  features  of  the  county  a  hundred  years  ago." — From  the  pen  of  J-  H. 



Thirty-five  years  afterward  considerable  change  was  already  noticeable. 
Jacob,  Swan  and  Bull,  Wea  chiefs,  ranged  from  Orchardtown  ( Terre  Haute) 
to  Shawnee  Prairie;  Stone-eater  had  his  headquarters  on  or  just  above 
Sugar  creek,  and  the  Dazney  Indians  roamed  over  the  Raccoon  prairie  and 
thence  on  to  Fort  Harrison.  The  soldier,  the  explorer  and  the  hunter  had 
become  acquainted  with  the  land,  and  the  whites  of  more  eastern  localities 
looked  toward  this  section  for  a  home-building  spot.  Rev.  Isaac  McCoy,  who 
preached  the  first  gospel  sermon  in  this  green,  glad  solitude,  had  invaded  this 
region.  He  was  a  Baptist  missionary  and  came  to  the  Wabash  valley  to 
preach  to  the  Indians  and  white  men,  in  1817,  preaching  at  points  as  far 
north  as  the  Big  Raccoon.  In  fact,  it  might  be  stated  that  he  could  have 
been  considered  the  first  white  settler,  for  he  was  certainly  here  long  enough 
to  become  a  settler,  legally.  Early  in  1818  he  made  a  location  on  land  in 
the  farm  later  owned  and  occupied  by  Mrs.  Lawrence  Cox,  and  he  collected 
a  few  half-breed  children  and  taught  them  English  and  religion.  He  learned 
the  Indian  dialect  in  order  to  better  cope  with  the  Catholic  missionaries  who 
spoke  that  language,  especially  among  the  Miamis.  A  few  Christianized 
Indians  came  from  Brothertown,  New  York,  and  assisted  him.  In  1819  Mr. 
McCoy  married  the  first  couple  ever  united  in  Parke  county.  His  diary  says : 

"On  the  i6th  of  February  I  joined  in  marriage  Mary  Ann  Isaacs,  of 
the  Brothertown  Indians,  who  had  been  spending  a  few  weeks  at  our  house, 
to  Christmas  Dashney,  a  half-breed  Wea." 

Historian  Beadle,  so  well  known  in  Indiana,  said  of  this  faithful  mis- 
sionary of  the  Cross:  "Mr.  McCoy  continued  his  labors  in  this  county  till 
1822-3 ;  and  his  journal  tells  of  struggle  against  struggle  and  continued  dis- 
appointment; of  loving  care  for  converts  demoralized  by  the  whisky  of  white 
men;  of  toilsome  journeys  to  Indian  camps;  of  cold  nights  in  the  lonely 
woods;  of  shivering  days  in  wet  brush;  of  insults  and  rebuffs;  of  hunger  and 
foul  weather.  He  was  a  gentleman  of  culture  and  of  pleasing  address,  and 
soon  learned  to  speak  the  Indian  dialect  fluently.  He  was  assisted,  now  and 
then,  by  other  teachers  and  preachers,  including  Mr.  Martin  and  Johnston 
Lykens.  With  a  large  family  he  followed  the  Indians,  even  to  Michigan, 
seeing  them  die  off  like  sheep  from  the  effect  of  white  man's  whisky.  Thence 
he  followed  them  to  Indian  Territory,  about  1830,  and  saw  the  remnant  of 
the  tribe  attached  to  the  Cherokee  nation.  He  had  fought  a  long,  hard  fight 
and  lost,  as  the  world  would  say;  he  had  attached  himself  to  a  dying  race, 
and  neither  prayers  nor  tears  nor  much  labor  could  arrest  their  inevitable 
decay.     Nay,  the  destinv  of  the  race  seemed  even  to  his  friends  to  be  death ; 


one  by  one,  he  saw  his  ten  children  sicken  and  die,  and  in  his  old  age,  lonely 
and  poor,  he  calls  upon  God  to  attest  the  rectitude  of  his  intentions  and  save 
a  few  witnesses  for  him  out  of  the  many  for  whom  he  had  toiled.  And  at 
the  last  he  saw  an  Indian  church  formed  on  an  apparently  sure  foundation 
in  Oklahoma.'' 

It  would  seem  that  this  was  a  part  of  God's  great  plan — the  red  man 
must  needs  become  extinct  and  the  higher  race,  the  white,  must  perfect  the 
plans  of  an  All-wise  Providence.  If  so,  then  God  will  retrieve  and  make  right 
all  these  seeming  wrongs  between  the  two  races.  In  that  other  and  eternal 
existence,  such  characters  as  Missionary  Isaac  McCoy  and  John  Elliott,  Las 
Casas  and  William  Penn  must  be  permitted  to  rejoice  with  the  once  sad 
victims  of  civilization,  and  go  out  to  suffer  no  more  for  ever. 

After  the  period  just  named  came  the  battle  of  Tippecanoe,  in  Novem- 
ber, 1811;  then  the  war  of  1812  with  England.  In  October,  1818,  the 
Indians  signed  the  treaty  of  St.  Mary's  (Ohio),  by  which  they  ceded  all  of 
these  lands  north  of  the  "ten  o'clock  line,"  except  the  "Sugar  Creek  Reserve," 
and  early  in  1819  William  Polk  surveyed  the  eastern  portion  of  Parke 
county  and  ran  the  line  of  the  Reserve,  as  "provided  by  law,"  completing 
his  work  in  August.  The  eastern  line  of  the  reserve  was  not,  however, 
cardinal ;  it  ran  from  Raccoon  to  Sugar  creek  in  a  line  a  little  east  of  north, 
passing  two  miles  west  of  Rockville.  It  was  provided  by  law  that  this  should 
remain  a  reserve,  and  the  timber  thereon  be  protected  and  the  Indians 
guaranteed  peaceable  possession  "  until  such  time  as  the  United  States  shall 
make  further  and  permanent  provision  for  the  Confederated  Weas  and 
Miamis ;  provided,  that  Christmas  Dazney,  on  account  of  important  public 
services,  shall  be  entitled  in  fee  simple  to  one  section  of  said  reserve,  to  be  by 
him  selected."  This  section  Mr.  Dazney  chose  near  Stringtown,  as  it  was 
called,  now  Armiesburg,  and  old  settlers  a  third  of  a  century  knew  it  as  the 
Dazney  farm.  Thereafter  the  land  below  the  line  was  known  as  Old  Pur- 
chase, and  that  above  as  New  Purchase;  nor  was  Sugar  Creek  Reserve  for- 
mally opened  to  settlement  till  1823,  when  \Villiam  Bentley  surveyed  it  into 

On  his  way  to  Tippecanoe  county,  General  Harrison,  in  181 1,  with 
nearly  one  thousand  United  States  troops,  crossed  the  Raccoon  creek  in 
X^^abash  township,  this  county,  and  camped  for  the  night. 



When  General  Harrison  left  Vincennes  in  November,  1811,  to  proceed 
against  the  Indians  in  what  is  now  Tippecanoe  connty,  and  which  campaign 
resulted  in  the  triumphant  battle  of  Tippecanoe,  on  the  morning  of  Novem- 
ber 7,  1 81 1,  he  took  between  eight  and  nine  hundred  soldiers  of  the  United 
States  army  and  marched  under  the  guide  and  trlisty  scout,  Zachariah  Cicott. 
He  entered  what  is  now  known  as  Mound  township,  Warren  county,  thence 
passed  northward  through  Kent  township,  encamping  first  (in  that  county) 
in  a  small  grove,  and  there  on  his  return  trip,  after  the  battle,  buried  two  or 
three  soldiers  who  had  been  wounded  at  Tippecanoe.  Their  resting  place  is 
at  what  is  now  called  Gopher  Hill  cemetery,  about  two  miles  to  the  southeast 
of  State  Line  village.  From  that  point  the  army  resumed  their  march  north- 
east and  passed  by  the  huge  bowlder,  which  until  recent  years  stood  in  the 
highway  on  the  old  Hunter  farm,  between  sections  19  and  30,  township  21, 
range  9  west.  This  was  an  immense  granite  bowlder  and  if  it  had  not 
thoughtlessly  been  blasted  and  removed  would  doubtless  today  have  a  suitable 
inscription  on  its  rustic  surface,  making  a  permanent  landmark  for  all  gen- 
erations to  come,  showing  just  where  Harrison  and  his  army  passed.  The 
second  encampment  in  Warren  county  was  made  just  across  the  Big  I'ine 
creek,  east,  and  "about  eleven  miles  from  its  mouth  into  river  Wabash.'' 
This  is  known  now  as  "Army  Ford,'"  and  there  seems  to  be  two  theories  as 
to  where  the  army  really  did  cross  this  creek,  but  the  generally  accepted  one 
is  that  his  crossing  was  made  above  where  Honey  creek  comes  into  Big  Pine 
creek,  and  in  the  center  of  section  9,  township  22,  range  8  west,  on  lands 
now  owned  by  Scott  Brier,  a  descendant  of  one  of  the  first  settlers,  and  who, 
with  his  neighbors,  has  always  called  this  the  crossing  place  of  the  army.  It 
is  in  Liberty  township.  This  seemed  to  be  the  belief  of  Judge  Isaac  Naylor, 
who  wrote  on  this  theme  many  years  since,  and  he  was  with  Cicott  after  the 
war  of  181 2  and  went  over  the  trail  and  noted  the  camping  places. 

The  other  theory  (we  give  it  for  what  it  is  worth)  is  that  it  was  in  the 
southwest  quarter  of  section  4  in  the  same  township  and  range,  less  than  a 
mile  to  the  northwest.  But  there  seems  little  good  evidence  that  this  is  correct. 

From  that  point — "Army  Ford,"  wherever  that  may  have  been — the  line 
of  march  was  taken  up  and  pursued  in  a  northeastern  direction,  directly  to 
where  the  battle  was  fought  in  Tippecanoe  county,  passing  through  the 
corner   of   Pine   township,    diagonally   northeast   through    Adams    township. 


cutting  the  northwest  corner  of  ]\Iedina  township,  thence  on  into  Tippecanoe 

It  should  be  added  that  on  the  march  back  from  Tippecanoe  to  Vin- 
cennes,  Harrison  lost  a  man  named  Drummond,  who  was  buried  near  the 
camping  place  on  Big  Pine  creek.  The  grandsons  of  pioneer  settlers  re- 
member the  grave  well  and  frequently  tell  strangers  of  its  loneliness,  at  an 
early  day.  This  soldier,  with  probably  the  three  buried  at  what  is  Gopher 
Hill  cemetery,  were  the  only  ones  who  died  from  wounds  en  route  to  Vin- 
cennes,  and  to  their  gra\'es  there  should  be  placed  an  appropriate  tablet  or 
monument,  either  by  Warren  county  or  by  the  general  government,  the  bra^•e 
men  certainly  deserving  of  such  recognition,  even  at  this  late  day. 


Parke  county  is  based  on  a  regular  slope  from  east  to  west.  Along  the 
eastern  border  of  the  county  the  under-coal  limestone  crops  out,  being  the 
bed-rock  of  Big  Raccoon  at  intervals  for  ten  miles.  Thence  westward,  then 
through  what  may  well  be  styled  the  basin  rock  of  the  county,  with  a  tolerably 
regular  slope  for  fifteen  to  twenty  feet  to  the  mile,  passing  some  distance 
under  the  bed  of  the  Wabash,  and,  as  shown  by  borings  made  up  to  1880, 
maintained  the  same  westward  slope  to  the  Little  Wabash  river,  under  which 
it  is  found  seven  hundred  feet  deep.  Beyond  that  it  turns  and  comes  up  with 
the  same  regularity,  again  coming  to  the  surface  in  western  Illinois.  Assum- 
ing that  this  was  the  bed  of  the  old  river  in  which  the  coal  was  made,  Parke 
county  lies  along  the  east  shore  of  what  was  the  marsh  in  which  the  coal 
plant  grew.  The  fossils,  therefore,  are  all  of  the  coal  period — at  least  in  the 
western  part  of  this  county.  The  huge  reptiles  and  mammals  lived  in  the 
next  succeeding  ages.  The  largest  of  these  fossils  now  unearthed  are  a 
species  of  the  "goose-necked  lizard"  and  some  detached  bones  of  an 
American  mastodon.  As  most  of  this  county  was  filled  with  made  or  solid 
land  before  the  coal  period  ended,  it  follows  that  all  the  rock-in-place  is  of 
the  sandstone  shale  and  lime-rock  of  the  coal  measures,  but  on  that  there  is 
an  immense  thickness  of  drift  and  the  soil  is  from  the  wear  of  the  crystalized 
Canadian  rocks.  For  these  reasons  there  is  an  inexhaustible  fertility  directly 
over  immense  beds  of  coal,  with  an  abundance  of  good  building  stone  and  the 
finest  of  pure  water  from  springs  and  wells.  As  the  larger  streams,  in  their 
passage  across  the  county,  have  to  cut  down  from  the  high  levels  of  the  lime- 
stone foundation  to  the  level  of  the  river  Wabash,  there  appear  wild,  per- 
cipitous  blufifs,  presenting  some  of  the  finest  scenery  in  all  Indiana. 



The  contents  of  this  chapter  are  beheved  to  be  substantially  all  that  is 
necessary  in  order  to  give  the  reader  a  comprehensive  account  of  the  tirst 
settlement  of  what  is  now  known  as  Parke  county,  Indiana.  Not  that  it 
contains  in  minute  detail  the  circumstances  surrounding  the  entry  of  land 
and  settlement  of  each  actual  settler  in  pioneer  days,  but  it  is  designed  to  give 
something  in  general  of  the  pioneer  band  that  located  in  various  parts  of  the 
county,  leaving  much  of  detail  for  the  different  township  histories.  However, 
before  entering  into  this  task  of  outlining  the  first  settlements  in  the  county, 
it  will  be  best  to  reproduce  the  views  of  Surveyor  M.  D.  Buck,  published  in 
Brown's  Gazetteer,  in  1817,  and  also  of  the  author  of  that  work,  after  he  had 
made  a  trip  to  the  Wabash  valley,  both  of  whom  we  here  quote  and  inter- 
weave : 

"Rocky  river  (Sugar  creek)  is  one  hundred  yards  wide,  at  its  mouth, 
and  has  several  large  forks  The  bottoms  bordering  the  Wabash  are  rich; 
wells  have  been  sunk  in  them  that  showed  a  vegetable  soil  twenty-two  feet 
deep,  though  the  ordinary  depth  is  from  two  to  five  feet.  All  the  streams 
have  spacious  and  fertile  bottoms.  The  prairies  in  the  vicinity  of  Fort  Har- 
rison exceed  for  beauty  and  richness  everything  I  ever  beheld.  The  land 
sells  very  high  near  Fort  Harrison,  for  it  is  the  most  delightful  situation  for 
a  town  on  the  Wabash.  The  Indians  camp  in  the  woods  convenient  to  water, 
where  they  build  wigwams.  While  sui-veying  in  the  wilderness  they  appeared 
vei-y  friendly,  and  offered  us  honey  and  venison.  The  woods  abound  with 
bears,  wolves  and  wild  turkeys.  About  three-eighths  of  the  land  we  sur- 
veyed is  excellent  for  most  kinds  of  produce;  the  remainder  is  good  for 
grazing,  but  too  hilly,  flat  or  wet  for  grain  ( !)  Wheat  grows  rank,  but  the 
grain  is  not  as  plump  as  in  New  York.  The  difficulty  is,  the  land  is  too  rich 
until  improved  (  !)  Apple  trees  bear  every  year.  Wheat  is  seventy-five 
cents  a  bushel.  Flour  is  three  dollars  per  hundred — four  dollars  delivered  at 
Fort  Harrison ;  pork  four  dollars ;  beef,  the  same ;  butter  and  cheese,  one  to 
two  shillings.  European  goods  exorbitantly  high.  Ginseng  grows  on  the 
bottoms  to  a  perfection  I  never  witnessed.     Harrison's  Purchase  was  first 


opened  for  sale  at  Jeffersonville,  in  September  last  [1816],  and  numerous 
tracts  sold  at  from  four  to  thirty  dollars  per  acre.  A  section  on  the  Wabash 
below  Fort  Harrison  [now  Terre  Haute]  sold  at  thirty-two  dollars  and  eigh- 
teen cents  per  acre.  The  best  proof  of  the  excellence  of  these  lands  is  the 
fact  of  their  being  the  scene  of  numerous  Indian  population.  Serpents  are  very 
numerous.  Deer  are  mortal  enemies  of  the  rattlesnakes  and  often  kill  them 
by  jumping  upon  them.  It  is  also  reported  that  the  turkey  buzzard  has  the 
power  of  killing  the  rattlesnake  by  its  intolerable  stench,  which  it  most  pow- 
erfully emits  by  a  violent  fluttering  in  the  air  a  little  above  the  snake's  head." 

To  definitely  locate  and  name  the  first  actual  white  settler  in  this  county 
is  now  impossible.  It  is,  however,  known  that  the  Dotys,  Henrys  and  others 
had  come  up  to  the  line  of  the  Old  Purchase  at  least  as  early  as  18 18,  possibly 
1817.  It  is  known  that  James  M.  Doty  settled  on  Henry's  prairie  in  1818, 
and  is  by  many  called  Parke  county's  first  settler.  At  about  the  same  date 
came  Judge  Joseph  Walker,  who  settled  in  what  is  now  Florida  township, 
near  the  present  town  of  Numa.  William  D.  Mitchell,  so  long  and  well  known 
in  Union  township,  was  born  in  Raccoon  in  1818,  just  after  his  parents  ar- 
rived there.  Mrs.  Peggy  Miller,  whose  maiden  name  was  Robinson,  came  to 
Fort  Harrison  with  her  parents  in  181 5,  and  was  always  sanguine  that  they 
moved  into  Parke  county  in  1818.  James  Kerr  bought  land  in  this  county  at 
the  very  earliest  sales,  either  1816  or  1817;  but  did  not  settle  permanently 
till  1822.  His  wife  always  claimed  that  her  family  located  in  Parke  county 
in  18 18.  Many  more  claim  that  Dr.  Taylor  was  the  first  permanent  pioneer 
settler  in  the  county,  on  the  upper  end  of  Henry's  Prairie,  and  early  in  181 7 
or  18 18.  The  true  first  settler  will  never  be  known,  as  no  record  was  made 
of  the  coming  of  several  families,  all  of  whom  constituted  the  first  band  of 
pioneers.     It  was  certainly  from  among  the  families  already  mentioned. 

Among  the  strong  men  who  followed  up  the  army  and  studied  the  coun- 
try, was  Capt.  Andrew  Brooks,  Indian  agent,  trader  and  interpreter.  He 
made  numerous  trips  from  Fort  Harrison  northward ;  whether  on  the  prairies 
of  the  southwestern  border  of  Parke  county  or  in  the  dense  woods  in  the 
center  of  the  county,  he  everywhere  noted  the  local  advantages;  especially 
did  he  scan  the  localities  favorable  for  a  good  mill  site,  and  as  early  as  181 7 
(■possibly  1818)  he  set  his  eye  on  the  bluff  at  the  south  bend  of  Big  Raccoon. 
A  year  or  so  passed  before  he  found  a  partner  with  capital  sufficient  to  im- 
prove this  water  power,  but  fortunately  he  fell  in  with  Chauncey  Rose,  at 
Fort  Harrison,  who  became  known  as  a  distinguished  pioneer  and  philan- 
thropist. He  was  born  December  17,  1794,  in  Weathersfield,  Connecticut,  and 


when  twenty-two  years  of  age  came  to  Indiana,  reaching  Fort  Harrison 
(Terre  Haute)  early  in  1817.  An  elder  brother  settled  in  Carolina,  and 
advanced  him  some  capital,  and  he  had  already  shown  his  ability  to  acquire 
more,  when  he  met  Captain  Brooks.  They  were  kindred  spirits  and,  together 
with  Moses  Robins,  formed  a  partnership  to  establish  a  mill,  store  and  dis- 
tillery on  Big  Raccoon.  While  the  snow  was  yet  on  the  ground  they  left 
Fort  Harrison,  in  company  with  a  friendly  Indian,  made  their  way  to  the 
location  selected,  and  early  in  1819  broke  ground  for  a  mill  and  named  the 
place  Roseville. 

About  this  time  there  were  many  of  the  shiftless,  roaming  type  of  men 
and  women  who  came  in  and  remained,  as  in  all  new  countries,  for  a  few 
years-  and  then  passed  on  to  newer,  wilder  sections  where  they  might  mingle 
with  the  Indians,  hunt,  fish  and  trap,  and  not  be  held  in  obedience  to  any  civil 
law  or  custom.  But  of  these  settlers  no  account  will  here  be  made,  as  they 
were  not  in  any  sense  county  or  state  builders,  but  nomadic  in  style  and  habits. 

Meanwhile  the  business  enterprise  of  the  firm  of  Rose,  Robins  &  Brooks 
had  been  completed  and  was  running  in  full  blast  in  1819-20.  The  Indians 
came  in  from  far  and  near  to  exchange  their  furs  and  meat  for  flour  and 
whisky.  Soon  a  second  store  was  opened  by  Scott  &  Linton.  Now  came  in 
a  better,  more  stable  class  of  settlers  and  made  claim  to  much  of  the  fine 
farming  lands  in  the  county.  Just  who  was  first  to  locate  in  the  northern 
part  of  the  county,  no  one  seems  able  to  tell,  but  certainly  in  1819  there  were 
several  families,  and  in  1820  the  following  located  in  Florida  and  Raccoon : 
Judge  Joseph  Walker,  James  Henry  and  his  fi\^e  sons,  John,  James,  Richard, 
Moses  and  William;  John  Doty,  Samuel  Adams,  M'illiam  Nevins  and  Jacob 
Bell.  John  Adams,  David  Evans  and  Boston  Derr  were  the  first  to  locate  in 
the  forks  of  the  Raccoon.  William  Rea  was  first  to  locate  on"  Little  Raccoon, 
above  the  forks;  he  came  in  1820  to  the  northwest  corner  of  section  7.  in 
Raccoon  township,  not  far  from  the  present  town  of  Catlin.  John  Sunder- 
land soon  came  in,  as  did  Caleb  Williams  and  Henry  Greer.  Many  of  these 
pioneers  came  in  before  the  land  was  actually  opened  for  settlement,  and 
abided  their  time.  The  first  land  sales  did  not  take  place  al>ove  the  "ten 
o'clock  line"  until  1820,  and  in  the  fall  of  that  year,  too.  The  records  show 
that  among  the  earliest  to  purchase  lands  here  were :  James  Buchanan  and 
Mr.  Gilkinson,  fathers  of  Alexander  Buchanan  and  John  C.  Gilkinson,  Esq.. 
and  they  bought,  at  Terre  Haute,  the  same  land  on  which  their  sons  lived 
so  many  long  years.  Joseph  Ralston  came  to  Parke  county  in  1819  and 
settled  near  Kerr's  springs,  on  Big  Raccoon.  He  cut  the  date  on  an  immense 
beech  tree,  and  it  remained  legible  for  full  forty  years. 


Among  the  settlers  north  of  the  creek,  and  south  of  the  line,  were 
Dempsey  Seybold,  Dr.  Taylor,  John  Prince,  Samuel  Prince,  John  Morrow 
and  members  of  the  Doty,  Henry  and  Robinson  families.  These  men  all 
reared  good  sized  and  highly  sturdy,  intelligent  families  and  became  masters 
of  the  situation  in  after  years  in  the  development  of  Parke  county. 

Major  Ambrose  Whitlock,  government  surveyor,  reported  his  work 
finished  in  the  New  Purchase  in  the  summer  of  1820,  after  which  a  great 
immigration  set  in.  from  Vincennes  and  Terre  Haute,  settling  up  the  valley 
of  the  Wabash  to  a  goodly  extent ;  the  Raccoon  and  its  branches  all  gave  up 
their  virgin  lands  to  settlers  and  permanent  home-seekers.  The  paths,  traces 
and  blazed  trails  were  alive  with  land-hunters  and  explorers ;  Indians, 
traders,  hunters  and  si)eculators,  on  foot  and  horseback,  were  all  hunting  out 
locations  for  themselves.  The  year  1821  saw  a  wonderful  addition  to  the 
pioneer  settlement  in  Parke  and  Vermillion  counties.  Perley  Mitchell  made 
the  first  entry  in  Penn  township,  in  the  Sugar  creek  and  Walnut  groves  above 
Leatherwood.  The  rush  lasted  until  the  autumn  of  1822.  after  which  the 
advent  of  pioneers  was  more  even  and  moderate.  Thev  had  a  little  under- 
standing among  themselves  as  to  bidding  on  land,  and  if  an  outsider  pre- 
sumed to  over-bid  them,  he  was  usually  instructed  by  "persuasion,"  generally 
heeded,  to  "move  on." 

In  the  fine  autumn  days  of  1822 — ninety  years  ago — the  father  of 
Squire  Glass.  John  Glass,  arrived  on  the  Raccoon  and  halted  a  few  days  at 
the  home  of  Reuben  Webster,  who  had  been  a  settler  for  two  years  on  the 
creek  about  three  miles  below  Bridgeton.  There,  in  two  weeks,  Mr.  Glass 
lost  a  fine  mare,  seven  sheep  and  a  valuable  dog,  all  with  milk-sickness.  This 
was  a  common  thing  in  early  days.  Then,  too,  the  pioneer  band  had  to 
struggle  with  the  fever  and  ague  for  a  number  of  years.  Some  could  not 
withstand  it  and  returned  to  the  East,  from  whence  they  had  emigrated. 
Many  who  sought  lands  at  Terre  Haute  in  the  fall  of  that  year  were  unaWe 
to  secure  the  coveted  lands  in  the  bottoms,  but  as  it  turned  out  it  was  a  stroke 
of  good  fortune  for  them,  for  they  found  the  uplands  and  timbered  sections 
to  be  even  more  valuable  as  the  years  passed  by.  Messrs.  Glass,  Jacob  Miller, 
John  Miller,  and  Thomas  Woolverton  started  for  Montgomery  county,  where 
there  was  already  a  good  sized  Kentucky  settlement,  but  early  in  the  day  they 
chanced  to  meet  a  solitaiy  horse-hunter  who  told  them  of  a  "mighty  fine 
strip  of  black  walnut  land  just  about  the  divide  between  the  two  creeks." 
They  went  on  and  were  charmed  by  its  appearance,  and  ere  the  sun  went  down 
the  next  day  they  had  selected  lands  in  that   favored  s]30t.     This  was  the 


opening  of  the  New  Discovery,  as  James  Kelsey  called  it  from  this  circum- 
stance, and  as  it  is  still  known.  Then  began  another  great  land-hunter's  rush. 
These  settlers  did  not  see  the  well  cultivated  section  that  cheers  and  charms 
the  passerby  of  today.  All  was  one  vast  wild  forest  land,  obstructed  with 
tanglewood  and  thicket.  In  every  fertile  spot  the  peavine  grew  in  tangled 
masses,  cropped  by  the  cattle,  which  frequently  fattened  upon  this  wild  food 
alone.  Elsewhere  the  spicewood  choked  the  glade,  while  on  the  southern 
slopes  and  black-soiled  bottoms  the  pawpaw  thickets  yielded  up  their  sweets 
in  great  abundance.  In  many  places  the  tangled  woods  were  impassable,  and 
the  first  settlers  were  sometimes  days  in  cutting  away  the  brush  and  trees  in 
order  to  gain  an  entrance  to  the  spots  they  had  chosen  for  erecting  their 
cabins.  One  writer  says :  "The  Linn  thicket,  which  now  contains  a  good  area 
of  the  best  land  in  the  county,  was  navigable  for  ducks  from  the  spring  thaw, 
often  as  late  as  July  first.  By  following  the  windings  of  low  lands,  a  goose 
could  have  swum' across  a  township  in  many  seasons.  But  there  were  some 
compensations.  Game  was,  of  course,  plenty,  though  beef  and  pork  were  called 
a  luxury.  An  occasional  bear  was  still  found ;  a  few  wild-cats  lingered  in  the 
bottoms;  deer  and  turkeys  were  on  every  hand  abundant,  and  squirrels  of  all 
kinds  thick  enough  to  be  a  nuisance  to  farmers.  Coons,  'possums,  foxes, 
ground-hogs  and  wolves  were  common;  the  ugly  looking  porcupine  was  now 
and  then  found,  and  birds  were  twenty  times  as  numerous  as  nowadays,  and 
their  songs  were  never  sweeter." 

The  old  Indian  trace  from  Fort  Harrison  to  Fort  Wayne  bore  north- 
east from  the  head  of  Henry's  Prairie,  keeping  on  the  divide  between  the 
Big  and  Little  Raccoon,  and  it  was  soon  beaten  into  a  road  by  eager  home- 
seekers.  By  the  middle  of  the  summer  of  1823  Abel  Ball,  John  Jessuji,  Henry 
Nevins,  Joseph  Wilkinson,  Silas  Harlan,  John  Blake,  Nathan  Blake.  Charles 
Woolverton,  John  Burford,  Benjamin  Walters,  Constantine  Curry,  Clem  B. 
Burton,  and  probably  twenty  more,  had  settled  in  New  Discovery ;  and  before 
the  cold  weather  set  in,  there  might  have  been  seen  a  line  of  comfortable 
cabins  and  clearings  even  as  far  as  Crawfordsville.  May  13,  1823,  there  came 
a  great  time  of  excitement  at  the  land  office  located  at  Crawfordsville.  It 
was  for  the  first  pick  of  land;  horses  were  run  to  death,  men  rode  day  and 
night  in  storms,  swam  swollen  streams,  and  risked  their  own  lives  in  many 
curious  devices  to  reach  the  land-ofirce  first  or  outwit  a  rival.  The  "witness 
trees"  were  well  known,  as  the  survey  was  but  recent,  and  the  man  who  first 
threw  down  the  "numbers"  on  the  counter  and  announced  his  claim  got  the 
land.     In  1824-5  the  Hollandsburg  neighborhood  was  filled,  and  it  is  stated 


that  in  October,  1825,  not  a  single  piece  of  first  class  land  remained  untaken 
between  there  and  Crawfordsville.  Later,  the  lands  were  not  bought  and 
sold  so  readily,  but  it  was  soon  found  that  many  who  took  up  the  Linn 
thicket  lands  had  made  no  mistake,  for  they  proved  rich  and  valuable.  In 
passing,  it  should  be  said  that  after  the  first  decade  or  so,  while  the  virgin 
soil  was  being  turned  up  to  the  sun's  hot  rays,  especially  in  the  autumnal 
months  of  each  recurring  year,  things  went  well  with  the  settlers,  but  during 
this  first  period  of  their  sojourn  here  the  fever  and  ague  did  great  mischief 
and  afflicted  every  family  and  sometimes  every  member  of  the  household. 
By  reason  of  this,  great  suffering  had  to  be  endured,  for  it  is  said  that  in  that 
sickness  people  "want  to  die,  but  can't.''  But  after  the  lands  were  broken 
up  a  few  years,  the  decaying  underbrush  burned  and  the  land  with  sluggish 
pools  of  water  had  been  drained  out,  the  country  was  one  of  beauty  and  enjoyed 
by  a  happy  band  of  sturdy  pioneers,  who  became  the  grandfathers  and  fathers 
of  the  generation  just  now  passing.  Indeed,  these  pioneers  builded  far  better 
than  they  knew,  and  this  the  twentieth  century  is  enjoying  the  fruits  of  their 
toils  and  self-sacrifices. 

"We  love  best  the  man  that  dares  to  do — 
The  moral  hero,  stalwart  through  and  through. 
Who  treads  the  untried  path,  evades  the  rut; 
Who  braves  the  virgin  forest,  builds  a  hut, 
Removes  the  tares  encumbering  the  soil. 
And  founds  an  empire  based  on  thought  and  toil." 



The  third  Legislature  of  the  state  of  Indiana,  by  an  act  approved  Janu- 
ar}'  9,  1821,  at  the  then  capital  of  the  state,  Co.r}'don,  organized  Parke  county, 
with  what  is  now  known  as  Vermillion  county  attached  as  a  civil  township 
for  various  purposes.  The  same  day  the  Governor  appointed  Capt.  Andrew 
Brooks  sheriff,  to  serve  until  an  election  could  be  held,  and  James  Blair 
coroner.  On  March  27th  Dempsey  Seybold  and  Joseph  Walker  were  ap- 
pointed associate  judges  for  the  new  county  and  M^allace  Ray  as  clerk  and 
recorder.  May  30th  John  Skidmore  and  Joseph  Ralston  were  commissioned 
justices,  and  all  these  were  to  act  until  after  an  election.  William  Clark  was 
also  appointed  resident  surveyor,  but  did  not  qualify,  and  Stephen  Collett 
was  appointed  and  served  in  his  place.  The  first  election  for  the  new 
county  was  fixed  for  the  first  Monday  in  August,  1S21,  when  the  polls  were 
opened  at  the  house  of  Richard  Henry,  on  Henry's  prairie,  just  above  the 
county  line.  Judge  Se3^bold  and  'Scjuire  Ralston  (Organized  the  poll.  Judge 
James  Barnes  acted  as  judge  of  the  election,  and  what  happened  in  way  of 
troulde  is  briefly  narrated  elsewhere  in  this  A-olume. 

At  the  date  above  mentioned  the  county  was  supposed  tn  ha\-e  a  voting 
population  of  four  hundred,  and  commissioners  were  sent  to  locate  a  perma- 
nent county  seat.  This  commission  was  made  up  of  Gen.  Joseph  Orr,  Gen. 
Arthur  Patterson  and  Col.  Thomas  Smith,  the  last  named  later  becoming  the 
well-known  Indian  agent.  There  were  here,  as  in  all  new  counties,  a  rivalry 
as  to  who  should  secure  the  county  seat.  The  commissioners  were  exidently 
well  and  favorably  impressed  with  the  Buchanan  vicinity,  near  the  present 
town  of  Judson,  but  were  urged  to  visit  Thomas  Gilkeson's  place,  on  the 
Raccoon,  before  deciding.  While  at  his  place  the  commissioners  were  invited 
by  Messrs.  Ray,  Hand  and  Simmons  to  visit  another  spot,  which  brought 
them  up  at  Ray's  tavern,  in  what  is  now  Rockville,  on  a  dark,  gloomy  morn- 
ing early  in  the  month  of  February,  1824.  The  commissioners  were  wet. 
weary  and  miserably  fatigued,  but  were  royally  entertained  by  Mr.  Ray,  the 
landlord.  Just  what  inducements  were  offered,  aside  from  the  steaming 
breakfast  of  which  they  all  partook  freely,  none  can  conjecture,  but  before 


another  twenty- four  hours  had  rolled  around,  the  county  seat  of  Parke  county 
was  located  at  Rockville,  and  to  seal  the  act  a  bottle  of  aged  whisky  was 
properly  emptied,  after  which  the  bottle  was  broken  upon  the  big  rock  on  the 
highest  point  of  the  site,  and  thus  was  legally  baptized  the  town-to-be,  the 
county  seat,  Rockville. 

The  temporary  seat  of  county  government,  however,  had  been  at  Rose- 
ville  first,  and  next  at  Armiesburg,  and  two  courts  had  been  held  at  the  last 
named  place,  at  least.  The  county  seat  was  permanently  fixed  at  Rockville 
in  1822.  No  buildings  suitable  for  the  offices  and  court  were  provided,  how- 
ever, until  1824.  Sixty  votes  were  cast  at  the  first  election  in  this  county, 
that  of  1821.  There  was  only  one  voting  precinct.  The  county  clerk's  office, 
with  the  records,  was  burned  in  the  fall  of  1832,  and  an  act  of  the  Legislature 
made  the  justices  of  the  peace  county  commissioners.  The  first  board  meet- 
ing after  the  fire  of  1832  was  in  January,  1833,  at  which  they  ordered  re- 
pairs and  a  reproduction  of  the  county  records,  as  far  as  it  was  possible. 
In  1844,  the  law  was  changed  and  from  then  on  the  county  commissioners 
were  elected  instead  of  appointed.  The  first  board  was  Tobias  Miller,  James 
W.  Beadle  and  Nathan  Evans. 


In  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  law  for  the  formation  of  Parke  county  re- 
quired the  erection  of  necessary  public  buildings  within  twelve  months  after 
the  location  of  the  county  seat,  none  were  begun  until  two  years  afterward. 
A  court  house  and  jail  were  finished  in  June,  1826.  The  court  house  was  a 
spacious  log  structure,  built  on  the  south  side  of  the  present  public  square, 
and  served  the  double  use  of  a  house  of  worship  and  a  temple  of  justice 
until  it  was  superseded  by  the  brick  court  house  and  the  brick  school  house. 
The  old  jail  served  until  1858,  when  it  was  burned,  but  in  reality  it  had  been 
unfit  for  a  public  building  for  several  years  before  its  final  destruction.  The 
jail,  which  was  also  built  of  logs,  stood  on  lot  No.  59,  just  across  the  rail- 
road track  and  to  the  northwest  of  where  later  stood  the  old  brick  jail.  Pio- 
neer Ray  donated  forty  acres  to  the  county,  on  which  the  public  square  and 
business  houses  are  located  today,  and  his  partner.  Hand,  gave  twenty  acres, 
and  Patterson  and  McCall,  the  other  town  site  founders,  gave  twenty  acres. 
It  should  be  recalled  that  in  the  beginning,  Andrew  Ray,  Aaron  Hand  and 
James  McCall  joined  in  conveying  one  hundred  acres  of  land  to  Parke  county. 
This  was  conditioned  on  the  permanent  location  of  the  seat  'of  justice  at 
Rockville,  a  deed  over  which  there  was  much  litigation  in  after  years  when 


the  people  sought  to  remove  the  seat  of  justice  to  Bloomingdale.  Thomas 
Smith,  one  of  the  commissioners  to  locate  the  county  seat,  was  also  ap- 
pointed by  the  governor  to  lay  out  and  properly  plat  the  newly  located  county 
town,  which  he  at  once*  proceeded  to  execute.  The  last  of  April  he  began  to 
advertise,  and  June  i6  and  17,  1824,  cried  the  sale  of  lots  in  Rockville.  He 
sold  on  commission  plan  and  almost  "cried"  in  reality  over  the  few  lots  sold 
and  the  very  low  prices  which  he  was  compelled  to  sell  them  for.  Lot  No.  i, 
on  the  northeast  corner  of  town,  was  sold  to  James  Strain,  Sr.  The  county 
officers  soon  removed  to  "town"  and  three  or  four  lawyers,  of  which  it  is 
related  many  believed  young  Joseph  Van  Meter  was  the  brightest,  but  it  ap- 
pears he  never  made  good  in  the  great  conflict  of  life  and  was  never  heard  of 
save  for  a  short  sojourn  here. 


Parke  county's  first  court  house  was  the  rude,  but  good  sized,  log  struc- 
ture built  in  1826,  which  served  until  1829,  when  a  contract  was  let  to 
Matthew  Stewart,  against  great  opposition,  to  build  a  new  court  house. 
County  orders  were  worth  only  fifty  cents  on  a  dollar,  and  it  was  thought  the 
whole  county  would  soon  become  bankrupt.  But  the  wheels  of  time  revolved 
and  the  brick  court  house  was  completed  in  1832,  and  sei-ved  the  county  until 
1879,  when  it  was  torn  down  by  Isaac  McFaddin.  The  old  brick  jail,  built 
at  that  time,  served  (longer  than  it  ought  to  have  been  tolerated)  until  1858, 
when  it  was  burned.  The  picture  of  the  old  brick  court  house  shows  it  to 
have  been  a  good  structure  for  its  day  and  served  well  the  uses  for  which  it 
was  originally  intended. 

On  December  3,  1878,  the  county  auditor  was  authorized  to  advertise 
for  plans  for  a  new  court  house  and  a  jail.  These  bids  were  opened  January 
29,  1879,  ^"d  there  were  found  to  be  fifteen  of  them.  It  took  until  March 
20th  to  settle  the  question  of  which  plans  were  the  best  and  most  acceptable. 
Those  furnished  by  T.  J.  Tolan  &  Son,  of  Fort  Wayne,  were  selected  and  an 
order  issued  causing  bonds  to  be  floated  in  the  sum  of  $100,000  to  meet  the 
payments  on  such  public  buildings.  Then  bids  were  asked  for  the  construc- 
tion of  the  proposed  buildings.  On  May  i,  1879,  the  bids  were  opened  and 
it  was  found  that  the  highest  bid  was  that  of  $78,250  and  the  lowest  was 
$68,800,  but  the  lowest  bidder  could  not  furnish  sufficient  bonds  and  it  was 
awarded  to  the  next  lowest  bid,  of  $68,900,  which  was  that  of  William  H. 
Myers,  who,  it  was  later  found  out,  was  a  relative  and  co-worker  with  the 


iron  compan)-  and  the  architect  of  Fort  \A'ayne.  Under  this  contract  made 
by  the  county  boai'd  and  Myers,  the  work  proceeded  until  the  autumn  of  iS8o, 
when  he  had  collected  more  from  the  county,  really,  than  was  his  due,  and  a 
difficulty  arose,  the  result  of  which  was  that  Myers  abandoned  the  work  and 
the  county  went  ahead,  under  a  superintendent,  George  W.  Collings,  and 
finished  the  buildings.  Myers  had  been  paid  $58,836.07  when  he  quit.  The 
cornerstone  was  laid  September  11,  1879,  under  Masonic  rites.  This  stone 
bears  the  following  inscription:  "County  Commissioners,  Zachariah  Byers, 
Mahalon  M.  Marshall,  William  Carmichael.  John  B.  Connelly,  Auditor.  T. 
J.  Tolan  &  Son,  Architects.     W.  H.  Myers,  Builder.     September  11,  1879." 

It  now  appears  that  the  two  dates  found  over  the  north  entrance — "1879- 
80" — is  a  mistake.  The  building  was  not  completed  in  1880,  but  in  1882. 
It  is  supposed  that  Myers,  the  contractor,  had  these  stones  cut  and  intended 
to  complete  the  court  house  by  sometime  in  1880,  as  contracted  for,  and  for 
some  unknown  reason  this  "1880"  stone  was  allowed  to  be  placed  in  the  front 
wall — possibly  the  work  had  progressed  as  far  as  the  setting  of  this  stone 
before  the  contractor  Myers  quit.  The  court  house  cost  the  county  in  round 
figures  $110,000,  with  heating  plant.  The  brick  jail,  on  the  opposite  side  of 
the  square,  cost  about  ten  thousand  more.  Both  are  still  in  good  condition 
and  fine  buildings.  The  court  house  is  a  fine  stone  structure,  of  fine  styled 
architecture  and  modern  in  most  of  its  appointments.  A  splendid  clock  and 
bell  were  added  later,  costing  about  $1,500.  The  final  day  of  dedication 
was  at  hand  and,  despite  the  bad  weather,  the  assembly  was  \'ery  great.  It 
was  on  Washington's  birthday,  February  22,  1882.  S.  D.  Puett  was  chair- 
man of  the  day.  Exercises  opened  by  singing  "Praise  Goil  From  \Miom  All 
Blessings  Flow."  Rev.  W.  Y.  Allen  then  read  the  Ten  Commandments  and 
offered  prayer.  Hon.  Thomas  N.  Rice  was  orator  of  the  occasion,  and 
speeches  were  made  by  others,  on  "The  Bench  and  Bar,"  and  also  on  the 
county  officials,  past  and  present.  The  president  of  the  day  was  Col.  E.  M. 
Benson;  vice-presidents,  Zachariah  Byers,  William  Carmichael,  M.  W.  Mar- 
shall, O.  P.  Brown,  J.  D.  Collings,  George  Mater.  Numerous  speeches  were 
made  during  the  forenoon,  afternoon  and  evening. 

Within  the  corner-stone  of  the  present  court  house  were  deposited, 
under  direction  of  the  Masonic  lodge  that  had  charge  of  the  stone-laying, 
these  articles :  A  copy  of  the  by-laws  and  historical  records  of  Parke  Lodge 
No.  8,  and  of  No.  37;  various  papers  belonging  to  the  various  lodges  and 
societies  in  Parke  county;  also  a  history  of  the  lodge  known  as  Silliman 
Lodge  of  Knights  of  Pythias,  with  its  charter,  and  those  of  the  Masonic  and 


Odd  Fellows  lodges;  a  list  of  all  lodges  in  the  county;  copies  of  the  Rockville 
papers,  including  that  of  the  Tribune  of  September  ii,  1879,  Rockville  Re- 
publican of  September  10,  1879,  the  Monteztnna  Era;  blank  notes  of  the  First 
National  Bank;  small  quantities  of  grain  of  each  variety  grown  in  Parke 
county;  postage  stamps  of  all  denominations;  American  and  foreign  coins; 
business  cards  of  the  business  men  of  Rockville;  brief  account  of  the  old 
court  house,  with  a  photograph  of  the  building;  names  of  county  commis- 
sioners; photograph  of  the  residence  of  A.  K.  Stark,  and  other  objects  of 
historic  interest;  statistics  of  Parke  county  for  1878  and  a  copy  of  the  inter- 
esting address  of  Dr.  Thomas  Rice,  on  the  occasion  of  corner-stone  laying. 


The  receipts  and  expenditures  of  Parke  county  for  the  year  ending  June 
I,  1855,  were  as  follows:  Receipts,  from  show  licenses,  $50;  county  revenue 
for  1854,  $10,341;  township  tax  for  1854,  $2,534;  road  tax  collected  for 
1854,  $160;  cost  of  printing,  $265;  other  items,  making  a  total  of  $13,569. 
The  expenditures  for  the  same  period  were:  Keeping  the  poor,  $1,347; 
assessing  revenue,  $545;  county  officers,  $2,427;  cost  of  printing,  $320; 
keeping  prisoners,  $355;  books  and  stationery,  $238;  bailiffs'  fees,  $316;  jury- 
fees,  $785;  insane  persons,  $49;  public  buildings,  $250;  fuel,  $13;  election 
expenses,  $17;  bridges,  $2,015;  township  tax,  $2,534;  road  tax,  $120;  total, 
$11,753.     Total  of  the  county's  receipts  were,  that  year,  $13,569. 

In  the  month  of  February,  1912,  the  treasurer's  books  showed  the  fol- 
lowing exhibit  in  the  funds  in  the  county : 

Disbursed.        On  Hand. 

County  Revenue $  58,522  $17,946 

Principal,    Common    6,896  2,168 

Congressional   1,348  173 

Endowment   1,275  28 

Interest,   Common   2,664  245 

Congressional    2,086  643 

Endowment   374  360 

Fines  and  Forfeitures 615  180 

Bonds  for  construction  gravel  roads 37,946  37,098 

Redemption  of  Gravel  road  bonds 57'7S?)  9-302 

Show  License   20 

Liquor  License  4,000 

Township  Tax   i4,992  2,443 



Local   Tuition   $  5^.705  $  9-334 

Special   School    59,^6o  11,095 

Road 7<i^i  77 

Common   School   Revenue 30,635  891 

Library 146  4 

Special  School  Building 4-1-5  79 

Corporation    8,493  116 

Water   Works   2,034             

Electric    Lights    ^,127  34 

Cemetery    233  13 

Clay  Plant 618  11 

Park    102  6,892 

Gravel   Road  Repairs ' 23,125             

Totals $387,190  $99,332 

The  above  serves  to  show  many  things  connected  with  the  county  at  this 
date — the  schools,  gravel  roads,  fines  and  general  financial  affairs. 


The  following  shows  the  personal  and  real  estate  assessed  valuations  by 
townships  and  corporations : 

Adams  Township $1,250,500     Howard  Township $    438,025 

Washington  Township   —   ,  907,760      Rockville  (Corporation) 1,058,600 

Sugar  Creek  Township 354,395  JNlarshall  (Corporation)  _'_       164,810 

Liberty   Township 812,110  Montezuma  (Corporation)       420,888 

Reserve  Township 718,235      Rosedale   (Corporation) 315,010 

Wabash  Township 787,555  Diamond  (Corporation) __        68,930 

Florida  Township 1,324,155  Bloomingdale      (Corpora- 
Raccoon   Township 958,720          tion)    181,945 

Jackson  Township 496,520     Judson    (Corporation) 28,010 

Union  Township 838,630 

Greene  Township 1,005,580 

Penn  Township 617,775  Total $12,798,240 


Be  it  said  to  the  credit  of  Parke  county,  that  it  has  never  had  a  great 
burden  on  account  of  its  unfortunate  poor,  and  for  this  expense  the  people 


have  never  given  of  taxes  begrudgingly.  For  many  years  after  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  county  each  township  looked  after  its  own  paupers,  but  of  more 
recent  years  the  system  of  caring  for  such  charges  has  been  changed  to  what 
in  Indiana  is  styled  a  county  asylum,  located  near  the  county  seat,  where  con- 
venient buildings,  and  a  farm  which  is  nearly  self-supporting  is  employed  for 
the  safe  and  humane  keeping  of  those  who  by  reason  of  old  age  or  misfortune 
have  been  thrown  upon  the  people  for  support.  The  present  superintendent 
■of  this  institution  in  Parke  county,  E.  M.  Carter,  reported  in  May,  19 12,  that 
the  asylum  then  had  twenty-two  inmates,  mostly  men,  too  aged  for  work. 
During  the  three  months  just  before  the  30th  of  last  May,  thirty-four  persons 
had  been  admitted  to  this  asylum  and  twelve  had  been  discharged  from  it. 
At  that  date  there  was  on  hand  in  the  fund  for  the  maintenance  of  the  institu- 
tion, $148.80,  and  $197.90  had  been  paid  out  at  the  asylum  in  the  quarter 
ending  when  such  report  was  filed  with  the  county  auditor.  Hence  it  will  be 
seen  that  there  are  not  many  paupers  within  the  county's  charge,  and  that  no 
tax-payer  is  heavily  burdened  on  their  account.  Indeed  most  everyone  feels 
it  a  duty  and  pleasure  to  aid  in  making  life  comfortable  to  these  few  un- 

Sometime  prior  to  the  Civil  war,  the  county  deemed  it  wise  to  purchase 
a  farm  near  the  county  seat,  and  there  care  for  her  poor.  This  was  carried 
out  and  a  building  erected  less  than  three  miles  from  the  court  house.  This 
served  until  the  present  thirty-thousand-dollar  buildings  were  constructed.  . 
Here  every  care  possible  is  taken  of  the  unfortunate  inmates.  The  property 
is  looked  after  by  the  superintendent,  under  the  watch-care  of  the  county  com- 


An  early  term  of  Parke  county  court  indicted  six  persons  and  fined  them 
for  gaming;  six  for  profane  language;  one  for  retailing  spirituous  liquors;  one 
for  giving  a  friend  whisky  at  camp-meeting;  two  for  illegal  voting.  At  an- 
other term,  twenty-four  men  were  indicted  and  fined  from  one  to  ten  dollars 
for  betting  small  amounts  "just  to  make  it  more  interesting." 



Owing  to  the  disastrous  fire  of  November,  1832,  many  of  the  earl)-  rec- 
ords of  this  county  were  destroyed,  hence  there  are  some  facts  lacking  con- 
cerning the  election,  appointment  and  terms  of  the  early-day  public  officials, 
but  the  following  is  almost  a  complete  list  of  those  who  have  served,  and  in 
the  order  in  which  thej'  were  elected  or  appointed  to  office: 


1823 — Thomas  Blake. 
1825 — Joseph  M.  Hayes. 

1835 — General  George  K.  Steele. 

1843 — ^James  Kerr. 

1845-6 — William  R.  Nofsinger. 

1848 — John  J.  Meacham. 

1849 — Samuel  H.  Johnston. 

1850 — Gabriel  Houghman. 

185 1— E.  S.  Holladay. 

1852 — George  K.  Steele. 

1854 — Levi  Sidwell. 

1856 — George  K.  Steele. 

1858 — Samuel  H.  Johnston. 

i860 — George  G.  Grain. 

1862— Col.  Casper  Budd. 

1864— Thomas  N.  Rice. 

1866 — Walter  C.  Donaldson. 

1868 — James  T.  Johnston. 
1870-72 — John  E.  Woodard. 
1874-76 — Daniel  Thomas. 
1878— Robert  Kelly. 
1880— Ira  H.  Gillum. 
1882— William  Knowles. 
1884— William  N.  Aiken. 
1886-88— George  Hobson. 
1890-92 — Jeremiah  Morris. 
1894-96 — Albert  M.  Adams. 
1896-98 — Albert  M.  Adams. 
1 898- 1900 — Elias  H.  Owens. 
1900-04 — Elias  H.  Owens,  died. 

— John  R.  Johnston. 
1904-06 — ^John  R.  Johnston. 
1908— Jacob  S.  \\'hite. 
1910 — Jacob  S.  White. 
igi2 — George  ^^'.   Spencer,  Jr. 


1821-1833 — Wallace  Rea. 
1833      — Joseph  Potts. 
1833-50 — John  G.  Davis. 

1850-51 — Joseph  B.  Cornelius. 
1851-60 — George  W.  Thompson. 
1860-68— Samuel  Magill. 



868-76— John  F.  D.  Hunt. 
876-84 — David  Strause. 
884-88— Madison  Keeney. 
888-92— Jesse  H.  McCoy. 
892-96^153,30  L.  Wimmer. 

1896-1900 — John  E.  Harshbarger. 
1900-04 — Charles  D.  Renick. 
1904-08 — ^Ewing  Chapman. 
1908-12 — George  L.  Laney. 
19 1 2-     — Randolph  J.  Cummings. 


I82I-  - 

-Captain  Andrew  Brooks. 


—Christian   Steinbaugh 

1824-  - 

—Henry  Anderson. 

1874-78 — George  B.  Chapman. 

1825-7  - 

—Isaac  J.  SiUman. 


— Zimri  D.  Maris. 


-William  T.  Noel. 

1882-8^-John  R.  Musser. 

1833-  - 

-John  G.  Davis. 

1886-90— Ed.  Nicholas. 


-William  Kilgore. 


—George  S.  Jones. 


—Aaron  Hart. 

1894-96— William  D.  Mull. 


—James  Youman. 

1896-     - 

—Barton  W.  Dooley. 


—Gabriel  Houghman. 

1898-     - 

—Perry  E.  Benson. 


-James  W.  Beadle. 

1900-     - 

—Perry  E.  Benson. 


—David  Kirkpatrick. 

1902-     - 

-T.  E.  Aydelotte, 


—Abraham  Darroch. 

1904-     - 

-E.  M.  Carter. 


—George  B.  Inge. 

1906-     - 

-E.  M.  Carter. 

1865-7  - 

—James  Phelon. 

1908-     - 

— Roliert  J.  Finney. 

1867-   - 

—Jesse  Partlow. 

1910-     - 

—Robert  J.  Finney. 


-Nerval  W.   Cummings. 

1912-     - 

-Edward  D.   Nicholas. 


The  county  clerk  ex-officio  was  recorder  until  1833,  when  the  separate 
office  of  recorder  was  created.  It  was  changed  again  to  a  combined  ofifiice 
till  1848. 

1821-33 — Wallace  Rea. 
1833      — James  G.  Davis. 
1833-34 — Duncan  Darroch. 
1852      — ^Joseph  B.  Cornelius. 
1853-57 — Samuel  Fisher. 
1857-65— F.  W.  Dinwiddle. 
1866      — James  M.  Thomas. 

1870-74 — Elwood  Hunt. 
1874-82— William  J.  White. 
1882-90— Henry  B.  Cord. 
1891-98 — Charles  E.  Lambert. 
1898-06 — Daniel  J.  Chapin. 
1906-12 — Carl  Rutter. 




Prior  to  August  9,  1841,  the  work  devolving 
was  laid  upon  the  duties  of  the  county  clerk. 

1841-58 — Joseph  Potts. 
1858-62— L.  A.  Foote. 
1862-66— George  P.  Daly. 
1866-74— John  H.  Tate. 
1874-82 — Jesse  B.  Connelly. 
1882-86— Edwin  F.  Hadley. 

on  what  is  now  the  auditor 

-Samuel  T.  Catlin. 
-Elias  H.  Owen. 
-Stephen    \.  Pike. 
-Henry  Gubb. 
-H.  A.  Henderson. 

1910      — James  E.  Elder. 


The  sheriff  collected  all  taxes  from  the  beginning  of  the  county  govern- 
ment down  to  1833,  when  the  office  of  treasurer  was  established. 

1833      —Hugh  J.  Bradley.  1880- 

1834-8  —Austin  M.  Puitt.  1884- 

— Erastus  M.   Benson.  1888- 

1841-1859 — Aaron  Hart,  Miles  Hart,  1891- 

Samuel     Hart,     Charles  1893- 

Grant      and      John      R.  1896- 

Miller.  1898- 

1859-63 — Washington  Hadley.  1900- 

1873-67 — John  T.  Campbell.  1904- 

1876-72 — John  H.  Lindley.  1906- 

1872-76 — X.  W.  Cummings.  1908- 

1876-8CH-F.  W.  Dinwiddle. 

84 — James    X.    McCampbell. 
88— Isaac  A.  Pickard. 
90 — James  X.  Dinwiddle. 
93 — X".  W.  Cummings. 
96 — Moses  T.  Kelly. 
98 — Thomas  D.  Byers. 
1900 — William  Rawlings. 
04 — George  Bronson. 
06 — Edward  Bradfield. 
08 — Edward  Bradfield. 
12 — George  W.   Spencer. 


Among  the  coroners  who  have  served  in  Parke  county  may  be  given  these : 

1 82 1 -5  — Truman  Ford. 
1825      — James  Nesmith. 
1827      — Stephen   Flemming. 
1831-33 — Samuel  H.  Johnston. 

— Charles  Nugent. 
1835-37— Hugh  J-  Bradley. 

1837-39 — William  M.  Brooks. 
1839-43 — James  J.  Roberts. 
1844-45 — Hugh  S.  Comingore 

—Randall  H.  Burk. 
1846-49 — Solomon  Pinegar. 
1849      — Johnson  S.  White. 


Others — Christopher  Hensel,  Mat-  Theodore  H.  Johnson  (  col- 

thew        Gilkeson,        Daniel  ored),  Squire  Glass,  Hiram 

Mater,  John  Alexander,  Ed.  Newlin,    A.    Morris,    John 

Brown,  James  Jacobs,  Will-  A.  Musser,  Hiram  E.  New- 

iam  Mains,  James  M.  Cox,  lin,     Chas.     W.     Overpeck, 

John      Aydollett,      William  Thomas   J.    CoUings,    Will- 

Knowles    (colored),    Omer  iam    J.    Pease,    Peare.    Col- 
O.    Hall,    Robert   J.    Fyrt'e,                   .   lins. 


This  office  was  created  in  1891,  by  act  of  the  Legislature.  The  first  to 
hold  the  office  in  Parke  county  was  Stephen  A.  Pike,  appointed  in  June,  1891, 
and  who  served  until  November  of  that  year. 

1891 — Samuel  Coble.  1906 — Stephen   A.   Pike. 

1900 — Charles  E.  McDaniel.  1910 — Stephen  A.  Pike. 


Among  the  various  surveyors  in  Parke  county  have  been  the  following : 
Jeremiah  H.  Siler,  Enos  C.  Siler,  William  H.  Nye,  John  T.  Campbell,  Claud 
Ott,  Alfred  Hadley,  whose  deputy  was  a  Mr.  Demare,  who  had  the  field- 
notes  of  the  whole  county  in  his  house,  when  all  were  burned,  causing  the 
county  a  great  loss.  Later  surveyors  have  been :  Claud  Ott,  John  A.  Camp- 
bell, Arthur  Pickett,  James  E.  Phillips,  Henry  Davis. 

The  first  court  held  in  Parke  county  was  at  the  house  of  Samuel  Blair,  in 
Rosedale,  where  it  continued  to  be  held  until  a  suitable  place  could  be  pro- 
vided at  the  county  seat.  The  first  associate  judges  were  Samuel  Steele, 
1826;  James  McSmith,  1827.  The  judges  of  the  circuit  court  were:  Isaac 
Naylor,  1833;  associates.  Judges  Robert  Mitchell  and  D.  Seybold.  In  1838, 
E.  M.  Huntington:  associates,  R.  H.  Wedding,  W.  C.  Donaldson.  1842,  Will- 
iam P.  Bryant:  same  associates  as  before.  1844,  John  Law;  associates,  Alex- 
ander Kirkpatrick,  W.  C.  Donaldson.  1850,  S.  B.  Gookins;  associates,  A. 
Kirkpatrick  and  Samuel  Case.  1851,  D.  R.  Eckles;  same  associates  as  before. 
In  1852  the  office  of  associate  judge  was  abolished.  The  judge  next  to  serve 
was  W.   P.  Bryant.      1858,  John  M.  Cowan;   1867,  C.  Y.  Patterson:   1873. 


Samuel  C.  Wilson;  1879,  William  P.  Britten,  Albert  D.  Wilson  having  serxed 
just  after  Judge  Wilson  for  a  short  term.  The  next  judge  was  Joshua  J. 
Jump,  succeeded  by  Ared  F.  White,  Gould  G.  Rheuby,  Charles  W.  \Vard, 
William  C.  Wait,  Jr.,  Barton  Aikxnan. 


From  1853  to  1873  existed  what  was  styled  the  court  of  common  pleas. 
The  judges  in  Parke  county  were:  Hons.  John  R.  Porter,  1853  ;  S.  F.  Max- 
well, 1853;  C.  Y.  Patterson,  1861  ;  S.  F.  Maxwell.  1865;  1869,  John  T. 
Scott,  who  was  in  office  when  the  position  was  abolished. 


From  1829  to  1853  there  was  the  office  of  probate  judge  in  Indiana,  and 
in  Parke  county  the  gentlemen  who  served  as  such  judges  were  Joseph  Potts; 
Daniel  M.  Morris,  1834;  T.  S.  Baldwin,  1834;  John  Marshall,  1844  to  1853. 


The  attorneys  practicing  at  the  Parke  county  bar  in  the  autumn  of  1912 
were  as  follows:  Ared  F.  White,  Albert  M.  Adams,  J.  M.  Johns,  S.  F. 
Max  Puett,  Clarence  G.  Powell,  J.  C.  Buchanan,  S.  F.  McGuinn,  D.  J. 
Chapin,  George  W.  Bell,  W.  T.  Fink,  Elwood  Hunt,  Howard  Maxwell, 
Howard  Hancock,  Roy  W.  Thompson,  Tenbrook  McCarty,  F.  M.  McLaugh- 
lin, R.  C.  McDivitt,  Chas.  E.  Lambert,  H.  A.  Henderson,  Earl  Dowd,  Henry 
Daniels,  David  Strouse,  J.  S.  McFaddin,  Frank  Strouse,  J.  S.  White,  C.  E. 
Newlin,  Clyde  Riggs,  Will  G.  Bennett,  J.  M.  Neet,  Carrie  Hyde. 

The  court  officers  were:  Barton  S.  Aikman,  judge;  George  L.  Laney, 
clerk ;  Leonora  Gleason,  deputy ;  W.  A.  Satterlee,  prosecutor ;  Robert  J.  Fin- 
ney, sheriff;  Marion  Grubb,  deputy;  W.  T.  Fink,  deputy. 



Over  the  great  questions  of  state's  rights  and  slavery,  the  Civil  war 
finally  was  commenced,  for  all  time,  prohably,  to  settle  these  questions  on 
the  American  continent,  and  set,  as  it  were,  a  guide-board  to  all  foreign 
nations,  powers  and  kingdoms,  that  they,  too,  might  learn  that  men  (black- 
er white,  red  or  copper  colored)  are  endowed  with  certain  inalienable  rights, 
including  life,  liberty  and  the  pursuit  of  happiness.  It  took  four  long  years 
of  blood-shed  to  settle  this  question.  Sword  and  powder  finally  settled  it, 
once  for  all,  that  the  nation  is  and  always  must  stand  above  its  individual 
states  and  territories.  In  the  settlement  of  this  question,  the  settlement  of 
the  slave  traflic  was  also  settled,  by  the  Emancipation  Proclamation  signed 
by  President  Lincoln,  primarily  as  a  war  measure,  hence  with  no  recompense 
to  the  slave  owners  for  their  property  in  the  slaves  they  held.  Had  they 
laid  down  their  arms  in  1862,  a  different  page  might  have  been  given  to'  the 
history  of  the  fair  Southland. 

In  the  opening  months  of  1861,  however,  Parke  county  only  felt  these 
truths  darkly:  and  as  late  as  January  23d  of  that  year,  no  less  ardent  a  patriot 
than  John  T.  Campbell  published  in  the  Republican,  of  Rockville,  a  well- 
written  letter  advocating  peaceable  secession :  but  at  the  same  time  from  all 
quarter?  of  the  county  came  reports  of  public  meetings,  where  men  of  all 
parties  pledged  themselves  to  sacrifice  life  and  property,  if  need  be,  for  the 
preservation  of  the  Union.  But  these  sentiments  changed,  or  rather  crystal- 
lized the  sentiment  in  the  county,  after  the  famous  speech  of  that  great  patriot 
and  statesman.  Governor  Oliver  P.  Morton,  in  which  he  laid  down  the  prin- 
ciple that  the  nation  had  the  constitutional  right  to  fight  for  its  existence, 
though  its  enemies  in  certain  states  objected,  and  that,  if  necessary,  they  had 
the  right  to  coerce  the  rebellious  states.  While  the  public  mind  was  in  this 
state  the  rebels  struck  the  first  blow,  and  Indiana's  response  was  immediate 
and  enthusiastic.  On  April  12,  1 861,  Fort  Sumter  was  attacked;  .'Kpril  13th, 
it  was  compelled  to  surrender:  April  14th,  President  Lincoln  called  for 
75,000  volunteers,  and  April  i6th,  as  soon  as  the  news  had  reached  Parke 
county,  its  men  "arose  as  one  man,"  ]iracticalh-.  to  assert  their  devotion  to 


the  Starry  flag  of  freedom  and  Union.  On  Tuesday,  the  i6th,  the  people 
came  together  as  by  one  common  impulse,  and  hundreds  of  young  and  mid- 
dle-aged men  vowed  to  die,  if  need  be,  for  the  Union  of  States.  No  re- 
cruiting officer  arrived  until  the  17th,  when  a  mass-meeting  was  called. 
Charles  E.  Adamson,  a  typesetter  on  the  Rockvillc  Republican,  reached  the 
stand  first  and  enrolled  his  name,  the  first  in  Rockville,  but  the  first  to  enroll 
from  Parke  county  was  G.  H.  Hansel,  who  walked  from  this  county  to  Brazil, 
where,  two  hours  before  young  Adamson  had  enrolled,  he  had  signed  the 
sheet  at  Brazil,  making  him  the  first  of  this  county's  brave  men  to  offer  his 
services  to  the  country.  Young  Hansel  lived  at  Bridgeton,  and  to  him  must 
be  given  this  honor.  This  matter  was  settled  by  the  two  men  after  their 
return  from  the  war,  when  the  day  and  hour  of  the  enrollment  was  investi- 
gated and  agreed  upon,  as  above  narrated.  Following  the  enrollment  of 
young  Adamson,  were  entered  the  names  of  W.  N.  Painter,  R.  R.  Smith,  J". 
F.  Meacham,  Zach  Garrett,  E.  M.  Foote,  I.  E.  Wright,  Dan.  A.  Anderson, 
George  Sanderson,  Jim  Steele,  J.  A.  Wilson,  Jacob  Neron,  Samuel  L.  Comp- 
ton,  William  S.  Coleman,  James  R.  Painter.  John  A.  Pike,  David  Byers, 
James  R.  Hollowell,  W.  N.  Ralston  and  Jobe  Graves.  These  left  the  next 
(lay  for  Indianapolis,  there  to  learn,  with  surprise,  that  out  of  the  number 
only  fifteen  were  accepted  upon  physical  examination;  but  later  in  the  war, 
when  the  government  wanted  and  needed  men,  they  were  not  so  critical  and 
so  particular,  even  if  a  man's  body  had  some  little  defect,  if  he  was  able  to 
load  a  musket  and  march  in  defense  of  Old  Glory.  Then  it  was  that  many 
of  these  first  rejected  men,  who  had  not  sulked,  but  waited  their  time,  were 
able  to  enlist  and  march  with  older  soldiers  from  Parke  county  commands. 
The  men  who  were  accepted  at  Indianapolis  were  assigned  to  Company  C, 
Eleventh  Indiana  Regiment,  commanded  by  the  now  late  Gen.  Lew  Wallace, 
and  took  part  in  the  three-months  campaign  in  West  Virginia,  as  the  terri- 
tory is  now  understood,  l)ut  then  a  part  of  Old  Virginia.  They  participated 
in  the  battles  of  Phillipi  and  Laurel  Hill,  and  drove  the  rel^els  from  that 
territory.  J.  H.  Hollowell,  one  of  the  boys  from  Parke  county  of  a  scouting 
squad  of  eleven,  fought  in  the  bloody  battle  of  Kelley's  Island,  in  which  they 
opposed  fifty  Confederate  soldiers,  upon  whom  the  eleven  had  suddenly 
come.  It  was  surrender,  and  then  probably  sudden  death  or  long  captivity, 
unless  they  could  fight  their  way  out.  Their  decision  was  prompt,  and 
worthy  of  brave  men — they  fought.  From  tree  to  tree,  firing  at  every 
opportunity  and  dropping  a  man  at  almost  every  shot,  they  fought  their  way 
iMit.  pnd  r:;nii'  nff  with  the  loss  (^f  h'lt  two  men       Hollowell  shot  down  two 


men,  then,  coming  in  close  quarters,  clubbed  his  gun  and  disabled  two  more ; 
again  fired,  with  the  stock  of  his  gun  almost  off,  and  again  brought  down  his 
man.  Of  the  enemy,  he  certainly  killed  three  and  possibly  two  more.  From 
accounts  published  by  J.  H.  Beadle  in  1880  and  by  Isaac  R.  Strouse  in  1896, 
the  following  has  been  largely  compiled : 


The  first  full  company  that  left  Rockville  was  on  May  8,  1861.  They 
went  to  Camp  Vigo,  Terre  Haute.  It  was  composed  of  the  veiy  best  young 
men  of  the  community.  Its  officers  were:  L.  A.  Foote,  captain;  Thomas 
Williams,  first  lieutenant;  T.  A.  Howard,  second  lieutenant;  Robert  Catter- 
son,  orderly  sergeant.  At  the  same  time  Captain  Wheat  enrolled  forty  men 
in  Rockville,  and  the  remainder  of  the  company  in  Rosedale.  Captain 
Foote's  company  became  A  of  the  Fourteenth  Indiana,  and  voted  to  go  into 
the  service  for  three  years,  on  May  25,  1861,  three  days  before  the  order  of 
the  war  department  which  organized  the  three-year  regiments.  On  June  8th, 
the  day  after  the  company  was  mustered,  the  ladies  in  Rockville  gave  a  din- 
ner at  Camp  Vigo,  to  Company  A,  and  Captain  Foote  was  then  presented 
with  a  sword,  the  speech  of  presentation  being  made  by  T.  N.  Rice.  Before 
these  men  left  Terre  Haute,  G.  W.  McCune,  of  Rockville,  was  appointed 
assistant  surgeon  of  the  regiment  and  Nathan  II.  Kimball  commissioned 
colonel.  They  left  Camp  Vigo,  June  25,  1861,  for  Indianapolis,  and  were 
sent  from  there  direct  to  the  seat  of  war  in  Virginia.  .Vfter  serving  some 
months.  Captain  Foote  and  Lieutenant  Howard  resigned ;  Lieutenant  Bost- 
wick  was  killed  at  Antietam  and  at  Fredericksburg  Captain  Kelley  was  killed. 
Lieutenant  Baker's  leg  was  shot  off.  The  command  of  the  company  was 
then  given  to  Joshua  L.  Hayes,  who  had  enlisted  as  a  private.  From  the 
start  the  regiment  made  an  enviable  record,  and  Company  A  was  second  to 
none  in  the  army.  In  the  fight,  camp  or  march  they  were  always  true  repre- 
sentatives of  an  ideal  American  soldier  of  the  volunteer  type,  which  Gen- 
eral Logan  contended  was  the  best  soldier  the  country  had.  They  partici- 
pated in  the  battles  of  Greenbrier,  Winchester,  Antietam,  Fredericksburg, 
Chancellorsville,  Gettysburg,  Mine  Run,  Wilderness,  Cold  Harbor.  At  the 
latter  place  they  were  ordered  to  Indianapolis  and  mustered  out,  having 
served  three  years.  Those  who  veteranized  were  transferred  to  the  Twen- 
tieth Regiment  and  remained  until  the  end  of  the  war. 



Capt.  John  T.  Campbell,  who  was  rejected  from  the  Fourteenth  on  ac- 
count of  the  want  of  teeth,  came  home  and  immediately  began  raising  a  com- 
pany. The  men  at  Annapolis,  on  June  30th,  elected  John  T.  Campbell,  cap- 
tain; Thomas  Bryant,  first  lieutenant;  James  Connelly,  second  lieutenant;  and 
William  P.  Wimmer,  adjutant.  The  company  was  composed  of  intelligent, 
fine  looking  men,  under  thirty  years  of  age.  They  received  orders  to  report 
at  Indianapolis,  and  left  Rockville,  July  5th.  The)-  were  assigned  to  Colonel 
McMillen's  Twenty-first  Regiment,  and  became  Company  H.  From  Indi- 
anapolis they  went  direct  to  Baltimore,  where  they  remained  during  the  winter 
and  in  the  spring  moved  by  water  for  Newport  Xews,  there  embarking  on  the 
ship  "Constitution"  for  Ship  Island,  and  became  a  part  of  the  Army  of  the 
Gulf,  under  General  Butler,  which  had  for  its  object  the  capture  of  New 
Orleans.  Leaving  Ship  Island,  they  were  sent  to  New-  Orleans,  after  the  fall 
of  Jackson  and  Phillipi.  During  their  service  as  infantry  their  duty  was  of 
the  most  dangerous  character,  being  employed  to  dislodge  rebels  from  the 
swamps  and  bayous  of  Louisiana,  and  they  were  constantly  fighting  the 
enemy.  The  company  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Baton  Rouge,  and  signally 
distinguished  itself,  suffering  severe  losses.  In  this  fight  Captain  Campbell 
was  wounded  and,  to  the  regret  of  his  men,  had  to  leave  the  service.  After 
the  battle  of  Baton  Rouge  the  regiment  became  the  First  Heavy  Artillery  and 
Company  H  became  noted  for  the  remarkable  accuracy  of  its  gunners,  doing 
very  effective  service  at  the  seige  of  Port  Hudson.  It  has  been  said  that 
Company  H  contained  the  best  gunners  in  all  that  department  of  the  army. 
In  the  disastrous  expedition  up  Red  river,  this  company  bore  an  active  part 
in  repelling  the  repeated  attacks  of  pursuing  rebels.  After  their  return,  the 
most  of  the  regiment  having  veteranized,  they  went  to  New-  Orleans  and  soon 
after  took  an  active  part  in  the  Mobile  campaign,  which  resulted  in  the  cap- 
ture of  Fort  Morgan  and  Fort  Gaines,  and  finally  in  the  surrender  of  the  city 
itself,  with  an  immense  amount  of  ordnance  and  three  hundred  cannon.  The 
company  went  to  Baton  Rouge  and  were  there  detained  till  January  13,  1866, 
when  they  received  their  final  discharge. 


This  was  the  little  company  of  men  raised  by  Fred  Arn  and  William  H. 
Beadle.  They  rendezvoused  at  the  Fair  grounds  in  Montezuma,  where,  on 
August  6th,  they  elected  Fred  Arn,  captain;  W.  H.  Beadle,  first  lieutenant, 


and  Dr.  Richard  Waterman,  second  lieutenant.  They  left  Monte/Aima  Aug- 
ust 19th,  and  before  leaving  were  presented  with  a  beautiful  flag  by  the  ladies 
of  the  place,  Hon.  T.  N.  Rice  presenting  it  on  behalf  of  the  ladies.  Arriving 
at  Terra  Haute,  they  were  kept  in  Camp  Vigo  till  September  21st,  then  ordered 
to  Evansville,  where  they  drew  their  rifles  and  went  to  Kentucky.  During 
the  long  and  dreary  winter  they  suffered  from  sickness,  being  stationed  at 
Calhoun,  Kentucky.  This  winter  was  the  hardest  of  their  campaigning.  In 
February  they  went  to  Fort  Donelson  and  gallantly  fought  through  that  bloody 
battle.  The  next  fight  was  Shiloh,  in  which  the  gallant  Arn,  then  a  major, 
was  killed.  His  body  was  returned  home  and  buried  at  Montezuma  by  the 
Masonic  fraternity.  This  company  stood  unflinchingly  while  the  battle  raged 
hottest  in  front  of  Murfreesboro  and  went  down  to  "the  Valley  of  Death" 
at  Chickamauga.  They  were  made  veterans  January  i,  1864,  and  came  home 
on  a  furlough,  returning  in  time  for  the  brilliant  Atlanta  campaign.  They 
took  part  in  the  battles  of  Resaca  and  Kenesaw  mountain  and  were  in  that 
awful  slaughter  at  Jonesboro,  below  Atlanta,  which  ended  that  historic  cam- 
paign. When  Hood  made  his  desperate  raid  back  upon  Nashville,  they  were 
sent  with  the  division  to  overtake  him  and  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Nashville. 
The  company  was  mustered  out  December  8,  1865. 


At  the  breaking  out  of  the  war  a  company  was  organized  and  called  the 
"Penn  Guards.''  George  Harvey  proposed  that  they  go  into  the  United 
States  volunteer  service,  whereupon  fifteen  at  once  declared  their  wish  to 
volunteer.  Recruiting  began  at  once  and  was  aided  by  James  Hollowell  and 
William  Geiger  of  Rockville.  They  organized  and  elected  Harvey  captain; 
Geiger,  first  lieutenant,  and  Hollowell,  second  lieutenant,  the  latter  later  be- 
coming colonel  of  his  regiment.  This  company  was  mustered  into  the  Thirty- 
first  Regiment  and  became  Company  I.  At  the  battle  of  Pittsburg  Landing, 
Captain  Harvey  was  severely  wounded  and  while  being  carried  from  the  field 
was  shot  through  the  head  and  instantly  killed.  His  remains  were  brought 
back  to  Rockville  and  escorted  to  his  father's  house,  two  miles  north  of  town, 
by  the  Rockville  Union  Guards.  The  citizens  of  the  place  asked  permission 
of  his  family  to  bury  Captain  Harvey  in  the  cemetery  at  Rockville,  which  was 
granted.  Over  his  grave  was  erected  a  befitting  monument,  telling  how  he 
fought  and  died  that  the  country  might  live.  The  history  of  Company  I,  as 
to  the  engagements  in  which  it  took  part,  is  the  same  as  Company  A.     Both 


companies,  after  the  battle  of  Nashville,  were  transferred  to  the  Army  of 
Occupancy  in  Texas,  and  mustered  out  on  December  8,  1865. 


John  Callender  raised  this  company,  aided  by  \Villiam  S.  Magil,  William 
Sweeney,  V.  P.  Bonsell  and  Samuel  Garrigus.  The  company  collected  at 
Terre  Haute  and  it  was  decided  not  to  hold  an  election  of  officers  until  it  was 
completed.  At  the  election  held  at  Camp  Vigo,  Tuesday,  October  29th,  John 
Callender  was  chosen  captain;  W.  S.  Magil,  first  lieutenant;  G.  H.  Hensel, 
second  lieutenant.  As  soon  as  the  citizens  heard  of  the  election,  a  fine  sword 
was  presented  Lieutenant  Magil,  who  acknowledged  the  compliment  by  a  card 
published  in  the  Parke  County  Republican.  Company  K  was  presented  with 
a  handsome  flag  by  the  patriotic  ladies  of  Rockwell,  which  flag  was  sent  to 
the  town  later,  with  appropriate  ceremonies.  July  4,  1865,  General  Steele 
was  commissioned  colonel  of  the  regiment,  which  took  its  departure  for  Ken- 
tucky, November  17,  1861  and,  were  located  for  a  while  at  Spottsville,  but 
soon  sent  to  Calhoun,  where  they  remained  until  February,  1862.  Company 
K  engaged  in  the  work  of  true  soldiers  and.  suffered  some,  but  fared  better  in 
health  than  other  commands,  owing  to  the  extra  time  and  expense  used  by 
Colonel  Steele  to  take  good  care  of  his  men  and  their  surroundings.  But 
later,  while  this  company  was  on  duty  along  the  Mississippi  river,  it  suffered 
much  from  sickness,  as  did  other  soldiers  of  that  department.  Colonel  Steele 
resigned  January  17,  1862,  which  act  was  deeply  regretted  by  his  men.  The 
other  officers  of  the  regiment  petitioned  him  and  passed  resolutions  of  regret 
and  desired  him  to  remain  in  the  service,  but  his  health  would  not  permit. 
The  company  was  transferred  to  the  Department  of  the  Mississippi  and  most 
of  its  service  was  along  that  stream.  They  were  with  the  Forty-third  Regi- 
ment, the  first  Union  soldiers  to  enter  Memphis,  after  the  war  began.  From 
Memphis  they  were  sent  to  Arkansas,  participating  in  the  battle  of  Helena, 
July  4th,  doing  some  excellent  fighting.  This  regiment  captured  a  full  rebel 
regiment  of  greater  numbers  than  the  Forty-third.  .\t  Little  Rock  they  re- 
enlisted  as  veterans  and  were  sent  home  on  a  furlough.  They  returned  to 
Indianapolis  and  were  never  sent  to  the  front,  but  guarded  rebel  prisoners 
until  mustered  out,  July  14,  1865. 



This  command  was  raised  by  Captain  Thompson,  of  Evansville,  In- 
diana, who  recruited  about  forty  men  in  Parke  county.  The  remainder  of 
the  battery  was  enrolled  m  Montgomery  county.  It  was  organized  at  In- 
dianapolis and  left  for  Cairo,  Illinois,  the  men  being  thoroughly  drilled  and 
then  sent  on  to  Tennessee  in  the  vicinity  of  Pittsburg  Landing,  where  they 
arrived  Sunday,  April  6th,  at  sundown.  The  battery  was  composed  of  young 
men  and  from  their  youthful  appearance  became  known  as  the  "Boy  Battery." 
Their  extreme  youth  and  inexperience  led  many  of  the  old  soldiers  to  doubt 
their  usefulness,  and  they  were  often  told  that  they  would  never  stand  what 
they  had  just  gone  through  that  day,  but  would  run  at  the  first  opportunity. 
The  battery  was  finally  planted  on  the  extreme  right  of  the  Union  lines,  and 
was  supported  by  Gen.  Lew  Wallace's  brigade.  Directly  in  front  of  the 
Ninth  was  a  rebel  battery  which  had  done  good  service  on  Sunday.  In  the 
early  morning  the  Ninth  opened  the  great  battle  which  was  to  end  in  defeat 
of  the  rebels  and  the  death  of  one  of  their  great  generals — a  battle  never 
before  equaled  on  this  continent  and  almost  without  parallel  in  modern  war- 
fare. The  Ninth  soon  dismounted  and  silenced  the  rebel  battery  and  was 
advanced  about  two  miles,  where  they  fired  every  charge  of  ammunition  they 
had.  During  the  fight  they  had  fired  one  thousand  three  hundred  rounds 
and  experienced  officers  said  they  never  saw  guns  served  or  aimed  with 
greater  effectiveness.  The  men  who  predicted  the  "boy  battery''  would  run 
gave  three  rousing  cheers,  when  they  saw  how  manfully  they  worked  at  their 
guns  and  afterwards  the  Ninth  was  known  as  the  best  battery  in  the  whole 
service.  After  the  battle  the  batteiy  was  returned  by  General  Wallace,  until 
the  evacuation  of  Corinth,  where  they  went  with  the  Thirteenth  Army 
Corps  (then  under  gallant  McPherson).  Among  the  principal  actions  in 
which  they  engaged  were  famous  Shiloh,  Corinth,  those  of  the  Meridian 
campaign  and  Red  River  expedition  and  from  Vicksburg  they  were  deployed 
on  the  expedition  against  the  rebels.  At  Memphis  they  veteranized,  and 
all  save  a  detachment  were  sent  home  on  furlough.  The  men  left  took  part 
in  the  battle  of  Tupello,  Mississippi,  after  which  they  chased  Price  through 
Missouri  over  into  Kansas,  marching  seven  hundred  and  twenty  miles  and 
returned  in  time  to  fight  at  the  battle  of  Nashville.  At  this  battle,  A.  P. 
Noel,  wounded  at  Tupello,  came  out  of  the  hospital  and  joined  his  battery 
on  his  crutches.  He  was  seen  by  Gen.  A.  J.  Smith,  who  ordered  him  back, 
but  Pat  wanted  to  stay  and  only  went  to  the  rear  when  taken  in  charge  l>y  a 


guard!  The  Ninth  was  ordered  to  report  at  Indianapolis,  after  the  battle  of 
Nashville.  From  there  they  were  to  take  boats  for  Evansville.  When  a  few 
miles  out  from  Paducah,  Kentucky,  the  steamer  "Eclipse"  exploded;  on  the 
boat  were  sixty-eight  of  this  battery,  and  all  but  ten  of  the  brave  boys  were 
killed,  scalded  or  wounded.  The  Ninth  was  reorganized  at  Indianapolis, 
but  never  reported  for  duty,  as  the  surrender  of  Lee  to  Grant  occurred  soon 
after  they  were  reorganized,  when  all  the  light  artillery  not  in  the  field  was 
mustered  out.  With  the  Ninth  Battery  ended  the  enlistment  for  the  second 
grand  uprising.  The  next  call,  in  the  summer  of  1862,  was  made,  when  the 
Seventy-fifth,  Seventy-eighth  and  Eighty-fifth  Regiments  were  sent  to  the 
field  from  Indiana.  The  action  of  the  Parke  county  men  in  these  engage- 
ments will  he  traced  out  further  in  this  chapter. 


In  1862,  the  demand  for  soldiers  was  greater  than  in  1861,  when  it 
was  a  matter  of  conjecture  what  the  Confederates  could  and  would  accom- 
plish. But  not  so  in  1862;  it  was  then  a  dread  reality  what  they  were 
doing  to  our  forces.  McClellan  had  marched  nearly  "on  to  Richmond,"  but 
retreated,  after  the  slaughter  of  Malvern  Hills,  Glendale,  Gaines  Mills,  etc. 
The  Army  of  North  Virginia,  with  its  veterans  from  Manassas  and  Seven 
Pines,  were  pressing  forward  to  the  music  of  "Maryland,  My  Maryland," 
and  that  under  Kirby  Smith,  eager  to  avenge  Zollicofer  and  Fort  Donelson, 
had  re-entered  Kentucky,  with  evident  intention  of  invading  Indiana.  The 
patriotic  men  of  Parke  county  were  called  upon  and  responded  nobly  as 
before,  enlisting  by  the  hundreds  in  the  armies  of  the  Union. 

On  July  II,  1862,  Wallace  W.  McCune,  assisted  by  some  patriotic 
young  men,  began  raising  a  company,  with  headquarters  at  the  fair  grounds 
at  Montezuma.  At  a  war  meeting  held  at  Rockville.  July  26th,  addressed 
by  ex-Governor  J.  A.  Wright,  Lieutenant  McArthur,  of  Captain  McCune's 
company,  enrolled  a  number  of  men.  After  camping  a  few  days  at  Monte- 
zuma, the  company  went  into  Camp  Vigo,  Terre  Haute,  after  which  it  was 
sent  to  Indianapolis  and  mustered  into  the  Seventy-first  Infantry  for  three 
years  and  became  Company  G.  The  regiment  was  immediately  sent  to  Ken- 
tucky and  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Richmond  when  only  twelve  days  from 
home.  Most  of  the  regiment  Avere  taken  prisoners,  after  hard  and  desperate 
fighting.  They  were  immediately  paroled  and  sent  to  Terre  Haute.  Captain 
McCune  resigned  November  30,  1862,  and  Lieutenant  McArthur  became 
captain.  The  regiment  was  sent  back  to  Kentucky  after  being  exchanged, 
and  in  February,  1863,  was  changed  to  a  cavalry  organization  and  became 


the  Sixth  Indiana  Cavalry,  after  which  it  was  sent  to  eastern  Tennessee  and 
engaged  in  the  siege  of  Knoxville.  In  the  spring  of  1864  they  were  sent  to 
Georgia  and  assisted  in  the  Atlanta  campaign,  as  part  of  the  Army  of  the 
Ohio,  participating  in  all  of  the  cavalry  operations  and  taking  part  in  the 
battles  of  Resaca,  Cassville  and  Kenesaw  Mountain.  After  the  fall  of  Atlanta 
they  were  sent  with  Sherman  on  his  raid  against  Macon,  which  resulted  in 
the  surrender  of  his  staff  and  the  greater  part  of  his  command.  Of  the 
captured,  twenty  of  the  company  starved  to  death  in  prison — Andersonville 
and  Libby.  Those  not  captured  were  at  the  battle  of  Nashville  and  remained 
in  that  city  till  April,  1864,  when  they  were  sent  to  Mississippi  and  became 
part  of  the  military  division  of  that  state.  They  were  mustered  out  September 
nth  at  Murphreesboro,  Tennessee. 


During  the  last  week  of  July,  1862,  one  hundred  and  twenty  men  for 
sixty  days'  service  were  raised  in  Parke  county,  mostly  from  Rockville  and 
Bellemore.  The  company  went  to  Indianapolis,  where  some  difficulty  about 
the  election  of  officers  occurred  and  the  company,  being  too  large,  was  divided. 
Those  who  preferred  T.  A.  Howard  as  captain  stepped  to  one  side,  and  those 
wanting  J.  W.  Humphreys  to  the  other.  CaptaiiT  Howard  was  the  favorite 
with  most  of  the  men,  consequently  the  Rockville  company  was  the  largest. 
They  elected  Howard  captain,  J.  M.  Nichols,  first  lieutenant,  and  Madison 
Keeney,  second  lieutenant.  The  Bellemore  company  elected  Humphries, 
captain;  E.  Cole,  first  lieutenant,  and  S.  Crooks,  second  lieutenant.  The 
two  companies,  with  one  from  Clay  and  Putnam  counties,  became  the 
Seventy-eighth  Indiana,  which  regiment  was  never  completed,  and  left  In- 
dianapolis Friday  evening,  August  ist,  for  Evansville,  where  they  drew 
arms  and  uniforms  and  Saturday  evening  went  to  Henderson,  Kentucky, 
remained  one  day  and  Sunday  night  went  by  boat  down  the  river  to  Union- 
town  and  marched  to  the  country  several  miles  to  capture  sqme  guerrillas,  but 
owing  to  the  want  of  a  competent  guide  the  expedition  was  abandoned. 
During  that  march  Private  Loveless,  of  the  Bellemore  company,  was  mor- 
tally wounded,  being  shot  by  his  own  comrades,  who,  without  orders,  fired 
upon  the  skirmish  line  of  their  own  men.  On  September  ist  the  battalion — 
one  hundred  and  fifty  men — were  attacked  by  seven  hundred  and  fifty  Rebels 
and,  after  a  severe  fight,  lasting  an  hour  and  a  half,  during  which  Captain 
Howard  and  many  Others  were  killed  and  others  mortally  wounded,  they  had 
to  surrender.     Though   the   Rebels   were   victors,   their   success   was   dearly 


bought,  as  about  twenty  of  their  number  were  killed  and  many  more  wounded. 
The  men  of  the  Seventy-eighth  were  paroled  and  sent  to  Indianapolis,  where 
they  were  discharged. 


This  command  was  raised  at  Annapolis  and  sworn  in  at  that  place  in 
August,  1862.  Company  A  was  presented  with  a  beautiful  silk  flag  by  the 
ladies  of  Annapolis,  Dr.  J.  S.  Dare,  on  behalf  of  the  ladies,  making  a  neat 
speech.  The  company  went  to  Terre  Haute,  where  it  elected  Abner  Floyd, 
captain;  C.  Sherman,  first  lieutenant;  H.  Ingraham,  second  lieutenant,  and 
A.  McCune,  first  sergeant.  The  regiment  was  organized  September  2d  and 
the  next  day  went  to  Camp  Morton,  from  which  they  were  ordered  to  Camp 
Wallace,  at  Covington,  Kentucky,  where  they  were  thoroughly  drilled  and 
then  sent  to  Tennessee.  In  their  first  fight,  at  Thompson's  Station,  they  made 
a  gallant  record,  being  in  battle  with  their  brigade  against  five  brigades  of 
Rebels,  under  Forrest.  In  this  fight  Captain  Floyd  was  killed.  The  Union 
men  fought  all  day  against  an  overwhelming  number  and  every  round  of 
ammunition  was  fired  before  they  would  surrender.  The  prisoners  were 
taken  to  Richmond,  where  they  were  confined  twenty-si.x  days  and  then  re- 
turned to  Indianapolis,  exchanged  and  again  sent  to  Franklin.  Tennessee. 
When  Sherman  concentrated  his  matchless  army  for  the  Atlanta  campaign, 
this  regiment  went  to  Chattanooga  and  was  assigned  to  his  command.  Com- 
pany A  was  in  the  fierce  charge  upon  the  hills  of  Resaca,  driving  Rebels  from 
works  which  seemed  impregnable,  and  took  part  in  the  battles  of  Cassville, 
Dallas  Wood,  Golgotha  Church,  Culp's  Farm,  Peach  Tree  Creek  and  many 
more,  and  when  Atlanta  finally  fell  and  was  "fairly  won"  and  Sherman 
again  took  the  field.  Company  A  went  with  him  to  the  sea,  marching  through 
Georgia,  to  Savannah,  and  on  through  the  two  Carolinas  to  Richmond. 
From  Richmond,  they  went  to  Washington,  D.  C,  and  back  to  Indianapolis 
and  were  discharged. 


This  organization  was  effected  as  a  part  of  the  Eighty-fifth  Indiana 
Volunteers  and  was  begun  in  July,  1862,  and  completed  by  electing  Francis 
Brooks,  captain;  David  Phillips,  first  lieutenant;  Robert  Clark,  second  Heu- 
tenant.  The  company  left  Camp  Dick  Thompson,  at  Terre  Haute,  with  the 
regiment,  September  3.  1862,  and  went  via  Indianapolis  and  Cincinnati,  to 


Kentucky,  where  it  struck  the  Kirby  Smith  raiders  and  lay  in  line  of  battle 
several  days  and  nights  without  a  single  cartridge.  It  soldiered  along 
through  the  "dark  and  bloody  ground"  and  was  then  ordered  to  Tennessee. 
Its  first  engagement  was  at  Thompson's  Station,  where  it  behaved  well,  but, 
with  other  portions  of  the  regiment,  was  captured  and  taken  to  Libby  prison. 
The  prison  life  caused  the  death  of  nine  members  of  the  company.  After  its 
release  and  exchange,  it  again  entered  the  field  and  participated  in  the  Atlanta 
campaign,  "down  to  the  sea,"  through  the  two  Carolinas  and  on  to  Washing- 
ton, D.  C,  where  it  took  part  in  that  greatest  of  all  military  pageantries,  the 
Grand  Review.    It  was  then  mustered  out. 


This  company  was  chiefly  organized  by  Capt.  Daniel  A.  Porter,  in  the 
autumn  of  1863.  First  Lieutenant  D.  Phillips  and  a  man  named  Taylor, 
with  a  party  of  lUinoisians,  was  sent  to  help  form  the  required  number. 
Taylor  was  elected  second  lieutenant,  but  never  commanded,  John  E.  Wood- 
ard  being  afterwards  chosen  by  the  men,  received  his  commission  as  second 
lieutenant.  The  Eleventh,  greatly  to  its  disappointment  and  in  violation  of  the 
promise  made  the  soldiers  at  their  enlistment,  was  not  immediately  mounted 
and  placed  in  duty  on  the  front.  They  were  scattered  by  companies  along  the 
Memphis  &  Charleston  railroad  in  the  spring  of  1864  in  Alabama,  where  dis- 
ease killed  more  than  the  bullets  would  have.  In  the  fall  the  regiment  was 
driven  in  by  Hood's  advance,  mounted  at  Nashville  and  sent  to  meet  him  at 
Columbia,  Tennessee.  The  regiment,  one  of  those  forming  Stewart's  bri- 
gade, Hatch's  division,  made  a  complete  circuit  of  the  Rebel  army  and  its 
many  battalions,  moving  by  different  routes  and  often  in  close  quarters  with 
the  enemy.  Company  F,  with  three  others,  was  on  one  occasion  almost 
entirely  surrounded,  charged  by  three  columns  and  shelled  at  three  hundred 
yards'  distance.  The  greater  part  of  the  command  escaped  by  cutting  their 
way  out  to  the  Nashville  pike.  There  about  thirty  men  rallied  and  drove  back 
the  front  of  the  Rebel  advance,  re-took  the  prisoners  and  retired  in  good 
order,  as  the  heavy  columns  of  the  Texas  cavalry  came  up.  The  battalion 
that  evening  lost  nearly  one  hundred  men  in  killed,  wounded  and  missing. 
This  was  known  by  soldiers  as  "Spring  Hill  fight."  At  Franklin,  the 
Eleventh  was  on  the  left  flank  of  Schofield's  aiTny,  but  not  in  actual  engage- 
ment, as  there  was  no  place  for  cavalry  to  operate.  They  made  a  good  record 
at  Nashville,  the  regiment  fighting  dismounted,  taking  eight  out  of  sixteen 
Rebel  cannon.  It  is  said  that  Frank  Howard  was  the  first  man  to  capture  a 


gun.  Of  two  hundred  and  fifty  men  in  the  last  charge  at  dark,  they  lost  thirty- 
seven  men  in  less  than  three  minutes.  Bert  Chapman,  the  orderly  in  com- 
mand (acting  adjutant),  showed  soldierly  qualities.  He  stayed  through  the 
thick  of  the  fight,  refusing  to  let  a  serious  lameness  from  an  old  wound  keep 
him  out  of  the  battle.  John  Lindley,  a  sergeant,  rode  a  white  horse  through 
a  corn  field,  where  the  Eleventh  left  most  of  its  dead  lying,  at  which  point 
the  field  officers  and  Lindley  dismounted  and  led  the  brigade  to  its  last  charge, 
just  as  the  curtain  of  night  fell,  and  took  in  four  of  the  Rebel  guns.  From 
that  point  the  company  followed  Hood,  being  all  the  time  in  front  and  almost 
daily  engaged  with  his  rear  guard,  until  he  crossed  the  Tennessee.  Lindley 
was  promoted  to  captain;  Chapman  to  first  lieutenant  and  Howard  to  sec- 
ond lieutenant.  The  regiment  was  sent  west  in  May,  1865,  riding  from  St. 
Louis  tc  buffalo  ranges  in  western  Kansas.  They  were  brought  back  and 
mustered  out  in  the  fall  of  that  year. 

THE    hundred-days'    MEN. 

August  7,  1864,  under  the  call  for  twenty  thousand  men  from  Indiana, 
to  serve  one  hundred  days,  Company  H,  Indiana  Legion — "Rockville  Guards" 
— began  to  recruit,  preparatory  to  offering  the  company  organization  to  the 
volunteer  service.  The  number  was  soon  made  up,  a  large  number  of  Rock- 
ville men  who  would  be  accepted  under  the  call,  and  many  who  could  enlist 
for  three  years,  volunteering.  On  Monday,  May  9th,  the  company  elected 
Milton  Vance,  captain;  S.  B.  J.  Biyant,  first  lieutenant;  James  Phalon,  sec- 
ond lieutenant,  and  L.  A.  Foote,  orderly,  who  was  later  made  major  of  his 
regiment.  The  company  left  Tuesday  for  Indianapolis,  accompanied  to  the 
depot  in  a  heavy  rain  storm  by  a  large  crowd  of  ladies  and  gentlemen.  At 
Indianapolis,  the  company  presented  their  captain  with  a  handsome  sword, 
Private  J.  M.  McLaughlin  making  the  presentation  speech,  which  was  replied 
to  by  Captain  Vance.  After  being  organized  as  Company  G,  One  Hundred 
and  Thirty-third  Indiana  Volunteers,  they  left  Indianapolis  for  Nashville, 
May  2ist,  and  after  a  few  days  there  were  sent  to  Bridgeport,  Alabama. 
They  were  as  well  drilled  as  any  single  command  in  the  army  at  that  date, 
but  were  never  sent  to  the  front,  remaining  at  Bridgeport,  doing  guard  duty, 
until  mustered  out  of  service. 



Soon  after  the  first  company  was  sent  South,  another  was  recruited  in 
Rockville.  They,  too,  went  to  Indianapohs  and  were  consoHdated  with  part 
of  a  company  from  Madison  county.  They  were  sent  to  Nashville  and  then 
down  the  Nashville  &  Chattanooga  railroad  to  Tullahoma,  where  they  did 
similar  service  as  the  company  that  had  preceded  them.  The  last  named  was 
known  as  Company  D,  One  Hundred  and  Thirty-Se\-enth  regiment. 

Thus  ends  the  brief  (imperfect  in  many  ways)  history  of  the  military 
operations  of  the  men  who  served  from  Parke  county  in  defense  of  the 
Union,  but  this  is  the  best  that  the  author,  at  the  mercy  of  imperfect  records 
in  the  adjutant-general's  office,  can  here  furnish.  It  covers  the  chief  events 
connected  with  the  great  struggle  in  which  Parke  county  bore  a  very  patriotic 
and  important  part.  From  first  to  last,  Parke  county  sent  out  fourteen  full 
companies,  and  more  than  half  of  five  other  companies.  To  these  add  the 
original  volunteers  in  the  Eleventh  Indiana  Regiment,  the  scattered  ones  in 
the  Eighty-fifth  Regiment,  those  in  the  Ninety-seventh  and  One  Hundred 
and  Fifteenth,  the  parts  of  companies  in  the  One  Hundred  and  Forty-ninth, 
the  individuals  in  the  sharp-shooters,  the  volunteers  of  1864-5  o"  the  gun- 
boats and  other  detached  squads  and  it  is  found  that  the  county  contributed 
not  less  than  two  thousand  volunteers  for  the  Union  cause  between  1861  and 
1866.  .  And  remember,  these  were  from  a  county  that  had  a  population  of 
less  than  sixteen  thousand  souls  when  the  war  broke  out.  The  county  also 
raised  funds  for  bounties  and  relief  of  $234,970.  Aside  from  the  usual 
number  of  worthless  men  who  always  find  their  way  into  armies,  in  all  wars, 
in  all  countries,  the  men  from  Parke  were  solid  citizens,  terribly  in  earnest  in 
their  devotion  to  the  national  interests.  In  the  camp-fires,  in  the  tented 
fields  of  the  Southland,  might  have  been  heard  discussions  of  every  theme 
imaginable.  The  officers  were  in  no  degree  superior  to  the  privates,  as  a 
general  rule.  The  volunteer  from  this  county  was  a  man  of  standing  at 
home,  and  saw  the  necessity  of  being  true  to  his  convictions  and  bared  his 
breast  unflinchingly  on  many  a  hard-fought  battle  field.  At  this  date  (1912) 
but  few  survive  to  tell  of  the  terrible  battles  and  long  marches.  There  are 
some,  however,  and  they  are  respected  by  all  for  what  they  endured  in  the 
days  when  the  country  demanded  good  men.  In  1883  there  were  one  hundred 
and  sevent3r-five  of  these  ex-soldiers  in  Parke  county  who  were  drawing  pen- 
sions from  the  United  States.  The  number  has  been  diminishing  ever  since, 
although  the  pensions  were  raised  after  that  date,  making  the  amounts  paid 


out  here  quite  as  large  as  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago.  Not  alone  did  the 
sturdy  fanner  leave  his  plow  in  the  field  to  enlist,  but  beside  him  stood  the 
merchant,  the  lawyer,  the  doctor,  the  mechanic  and  the  learned  Greek  and 
Latin  scholars  from  institutions  of  learning.  While  Indiana  had  its  l)ack- 
biters  at  home, — its  copper-head  element. — the  best  citizens,  both  in  public 
and  private  life,  were  men  who  stood  by  the  Union  in  its  hoiu^  of  peril.  Peace 
finally  came,  but  not  without  great  loss  of  blood  and  ]5ersonal  sacrifice  on  the 
part  of  Parke  county  soldiers. 

With  the  many  companies  and  regiments  went  forth  man}-  l)ra\-e  men 
who  never  returned  to  enjoy  peace  and  long  life  among  their  people.  By  the 
wayside,  on  the  hills,  in  the  morasses  and  swamps  of  the  far-ofif  Southland; 
in  the  Golgothas  around  prison  pens  of  Dixie,  they  sleep  unshrouded,  un- 
coffined  and  unknown,  there  to  rest  until  the  Angel  shall  proclaim  the 
Resurrection  Day,  and  bid  the  earth  reveal  her  secrets.  No  gentle  hand 
scatters  flowers  over  their  narrow  homes.  None  go  to  weep  where  they  rest 
hidden  from  sight  and  knowledge,  but  perchance  the  busy  husbandmen  plows 
o'er  the  spot  where  they  lie  in  silence,  and  the  wind  in  the  tall  grass  chants 
its  solemn  requiem. 

"On  fame's  eternal  camping  ground 

Their  silent  tents  are  spread; 
And  glory  guards  with  solemn  sound 

The  bivouac  of  the  dead." 

There  were  several  of  the  pioneers  here  who  served  in  the  war  with 
Me.xico,  in  1846-7,  and  the  last  one,  A.  P.  Noel,  died  in  1911. 

At  the  time  of  the  Spanish-American  war,  1898,  a  company  was  re- 
cruited in  Rockville  for  that  service,  but  were  never  called  out,  as  the  state 
quota  was  made  up  by  use  of  the  regular  National  Guard  companies.  This 
company,  which  would  have  gladly  sei'ved,  was  largely  from  out  the  men 
belonging  to  the  old  Cadet  and  Battery  companies  of  Rockville. 

THE    m'cUNE   C.XDETS. 

This  was  a  military  company  organized  as  state  militia  and  sworn  into 
service,  with  forty-eight  members,  April  30,  1880.  It  secured  quarters  over 
the  old  woolen  factory,  which  it  used  as  an  armory  and  where  the  members 
were  drilled.  The  captain  was  Clinton  Murphy;  first  lieutenant,  Isaac  R. 
Strouse;  Frank  E.  Stevenson,  sergeant,  at  first,  but  at  the  completion  of  the 


organization  in  April,  the  following  were  elected:  Clinton  Murphy,  captain; 
Frank  E.  Stevenson,  first  lieutenant;  C.  E.  Lambert,  second  lieutenant; 
William  L.  Mason,  orderly  sergeant;  Lannie  L.  Ticknor,  second  sergeant; 
William  D.  Stevenson,  third  sergeant;  Frank  H.  Nichols,  fourth  sergeant; 
Tilghman  Bryant,  fifth  sergeant;  Isaac  Strouse,  first  corporal;  William  W. 
Smith,  second  corporal;  Benjamin  Grimes,  third  corporal,  and  George  C. 
Cole,  fourth  corporal.  The  state  furnished  this  company  with  breech-load- 
ing Springfield  rifles.  They  were  neatly  uniformed  in  navy  blue  coats  and 
sky-blue  trousers  and  caps.  The  cost  of  the  uniforms  was  eleven  dollars  and 
seventy-five  cents  per  suit. 

After  about  five  years,  this  company  disbanded.  At  present  Rockville 
is  the  headquarters  for  the  Indiana  Artillery,  Major  Stevens,  commander; 
Major  Frank  E.  Strauss,  chief  engineer  of  staff. 

Another  military  company  here  is  Company  C  Battery,  whose  officers 
are  at  present :  Dennis  Williams,  captain ;  first  lieutenants,  James  F.  Ander- 
son and  R.  E.  Swope;  second  lieutenants,  Frank  J.  Strain  and  William 
Elliott.    This  battery  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  men. 



A  majority  of  the  pioneer  band  that  invaded  the  wilds  of  what  is  now 
known  as  Parke  county,  Indiana,  had  been  reared  in  the  atmosphere,  at  least, 
of  church  influences,  and  many  had  been  members  of  some  one  of  the  relig- 
ious denominations  in  the  communities  from  which  they  emigrated.  So,  at 
an  early  day,  they  began  to  look  to  the  formation  of  religious  societies  here 
and  to  the  erection  of  some  place  in  which  to  worship  the  "true  and  living 
God."  The  good  seed  scattered  away  back  there  a  century  ago  has  kept  on 
producing  good  fruitage  and  may  now  be  seen  welling  up  in  the  Christian 
spirit  manifested  on  every  hand  within  the  borders  of  Parke  county,  the 
present  home  of  numerous  churches  and  a  regular  church-going  people, 
grouped  into  several  different  denominations  of  both  Protestant  and  Catholic 
faith,  but  all  of  whom  own  the  Chirst  as  their  common  Master. 

Almost  a  third  of  a  century  ago  it  was  written  by  J.  H.  Beadle,  author 
of  a  history  of  this  county,  that  the  Catholic  people  had  taken  up  their  work 
in  this  country  long  before  the  Protestants,  and  that  the  standard  of  Rome 
had  been  planted  on  the  banks  of  the  Wabash  long  before  it  had  in  Geneva. 
"From  this  vantage  ground  Catholicism  has  been  pushed  by  the  aggressive 
energy  of  Protestant  nations ;  England  has  triumphed  over  France  and 
America  over  Spain  and  Mexico,  till  the  Catholic  power  is  confined  to  one 
small  corner  of  North  America,  with  a  majority  in  no  state  and  only  in  one 
territory  of  this  nation.  To  the  Missionary  Baptists  ■  must  be  given  the 
credit  of  the  first  church  in  Parke  county,  and  to  Rev.  Isaac  McCoy  must  be 
given  the  credit  of  having  preached  the  first  Protestant  semion  in  this 

Long  years  afterward  the  Old-School  Baptists,  led  by  Matthew  Noel. 
Austin  M.  Puett  and  others  and  ministered  to  by  Elder  Newport,  founded  a 
flourishing  society  in  Rockville  and  built  a  brick  church;  but  by  slow  de- 
grees the  society  went  down  and  the  building  was  finally  used  for  a  carpenter 
shop,  and  at  last  torn  down. 



Aside  from  the  pioneer  church  above  mentioned,  the  Baptists  have  had 
the  foUowing  churches  within  Parke  county : 

What  was  known  as  the  New  Discovery  Baptist  church  was  situated  five 
miles  from  Rockville,  on  the  Greencastle  road.  This  society  was  formed 
August  29,  1834,  with  thirty-seven  members.  By  1879  it  had  a  membership 
of  seventy  communicants.     The  church  was  built  about  1845. 

The  Second  Baptist  church  of  Rockville  was  organized  July  23,  1870, 
by  Rev.  L.  Artis.  It  had  a  building  on  lot  No.  i  of  the  original  town  plat. 
It  cost  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars  and  was  thirty  by  forty  feet  in 
size.  This  society  originally  had  eleven  members,  but  by  1880  had  reached  a 
membership  of  forty-one. 

The  Colored  Free-Will  Baptists  organized  in  Rock\ille  in  May,  1880, 
with  eleven  members.  They  used  the  Second  Baptist  cliurch  each  fourth 
Sabbath.     Their  first  pastor  was  Rev.  Isaac  Hill. 

The  first  church  built  in  Union' township  was  what  was  styled  the 
Providence  Baptist  church  and  was  called  the  "meeting  house.""  It  was  built 
out  of  the  raw  material  of  the  forest,  with  but  little  hewing.  It  stood  in  the 
southwest  corner  of  the  township  and  there  was  a  graveyard  near  1>y  it.  In 
this  house  Benjamin  Lambert,  Jerre  Baldwin,  Samuel  Medley  and  others 
exhorted.  In  the  church  yard  nearby,  the  first  to  be  buried  was  Moses  Bald- 
win. Later  this  rude  house  of  worship  was  abandoned  and  a  better  one, 
known  as  Mount  Moriah,  was  built  across  the  way  in  Greene  township.  The 
first  church  in  the  township  of  Union  was  built  in  1828-31,  and  the  one  in 
Greene  township  referred  to  was  erected  in  about  1840,  on  section  33,  a  frame 
structure  thirty  by  forty  feet,  its  cost  being  five  hundred  dollars.  In  1874 
the  society  built  their  third  building  on  the  site  chosen  in  1841,  and  this 
building  cost  them  one  thousand  seven  hundred  dollars.  Jesse  McClain  served 
as  pastor  forty  years.     In  1880  the  membership  of  the  church  was  sixty. 

The  history  of  the  Baptist  church  in  Bridgeton,  as  shown  by  records  pre- 
pared in  the  seventies  by  Dr.  J.  W.  P.  Seller,  was  as  follows:  Alx)ut  1850 
Elder  P.  Swaiin  came  from  the  New  Discovery  church  and  held  meetings  in 
private  houses  around  Bridgeton.  After  him  came  Rev.  P.  T.  Palmer.  At 
this  time  the  members  here  belonged  at  New  Discovery.  About  1853  ^  com- 
mittee made  arrangements  and  erected  a  church  at  a  cost  of  nine  hundred  dol- 
lars, it  being  thirty  by  fifty  feet  in  size.  On  June  3,  1853,  there  convened  at 
Bridgeton    a    council    which    represented    the    churches    of    New    Discovery, 


Freedom,  Goshen  and  Liberty,  and  organized  a  society.  Elder  P.  T.  Palmer 
was  moderator  and  R.  Davis  the  church  clerk.  A  joint  letter  of  forty-two 
members  from  New  Discovery  church  was  presented,  asking  to  be  organized 
into  a  church,  and  were  so  organized  by  said  council.  Their  first  pastor  was 
Peter  M.  Swaim.  In  the  early  eighties  the  membership  had  grown  to  about 
sixty-five.  Since  its  organization  up  to  1879  there  had  been  between  three 
and  four  hundred  persons  taken  into  this  society  and  several  ministers  had 
been  ordained.  As  the  first  Baptist  church  here  had  been  built  by  all  classes 
it  was  used  in  common  by  all  orthodox  denominations.  In  1879  a  neat  build- 
ing was  erected,  at  a  cost  of  nine  hundred  dollars,  and  the  membership  then 
amounted  to  about  forty. 

A  regular  Baptist  church  was  organized  on  section  t,2,  Raccoon  town- 
ship, about  1835,  with  a  membership  of  nearly  thirty.  The  first  preacher  was 
Rev.  Isaac  W.  Denman,  who  preached  there  fully  forty  years.  He  met  his 
death  August  31,  1875,  by  being  run  over  by  the  cars.  In  1858  a  chapel  was 
erected  costing  five  hundred  dollars,  one-half  of  which  Mr.  Denman  paid 
himself.  The  early  members  of  this  church  have  long  since  been  gathered  to 
their  fathers. 

In  Liberty  township  a  Baptist  church  was  formed  at  a  ^-ery  early  date 
and  a  building  erected,  which  was  followed  in  1869  by  another,  costing  two 
thousand  eight  hundred  dollars,  dedicated  by  Rev.  C.  B.  Allen. 

In  Jackson  township,  about  1832,  was  built  the  first  meeting  house,  and 
it  was  of  the  Baptist  denomination  and  styled  Rocky  Forks  church.  The 
society  was  first  formed  by  seven  members.  The  old  log  "meeting  house" 
stood  more  than  a  half  centuni'  and  until  in  the  eighties. 


At  this  date  (1912)  there  are  the  following  Baptist  churches  within 
Parke  county: 

At  Bridgeton,  the  church  has  a  membership  of  twenty-seven,  and  its 
property  is  valued  at  $1,500. 

The  Brown  Valley  church  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  eighteen: 
valuation  of  church,  $3,500. 

Carbon  has  a  church  of  twenty  members,  and  the  church  is  valued  at 

Friendly   Grove,   membership,   ninety-nine:   valuation   propertv,   $1,200. 

Friendship  church  has  a  membership  of  thirty-nine  and  a  church  valued 
at  $900. 


Goshen  church  has  a  membership  of  fifty-eight  and  church  property 
valued  at  $1,500. 

.  Marshall  church  has  a  membership  of  sixty  and  church  property  valued 
at  $2,000. 

New  Discovery  church  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  thirty-four 
and  property  valued  at  $2,500. 

Rockville  church  has  one  hundred  thirteen  members  and  property  valued 
at  $2,500. 

Tennessee  church  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  and  church  prop- 
erty valued  at  $1,000. 

Union  has  a  church  of  seventy-six  members  and  property  valued  at 


This  is  among  the  pioneer  church  societies  in  Parke  county,  and  for- 
tunate it  is  that  one  of  the  pastors  of  the  Rockville  church  found  time,  amid 
his  labors,  to  prepare  its  early  history,  from  which  we  draw  largely  for  this 
article,  so  far  as  it  relates  to  Rockville  and  vicinity.  J.  S.  Rogers,  church 
clerk,  placed  the  item  referred  to  on  historic  pages  for  the  church. 

"In  the  autumn  of  1822  Rev.  Charles  C.  Beatty,  later  a  doctor  of  divin- 
ity at  Steubenville,  Ohio,  then  a  young  missionary,  visited  Parke  county  and 
gathered  together  a  number  of  Presbyterian  families,  principally  from  Mer- 
cer county,  Kentucky.  Among  that  flock  we  find  the  names  of  Buchanan, 
Gilkeson,  McMillen,  Balch,  Adams,  Garrison,  White,  Anderson,  Mann,  Ran- 
kin and  others,  all  living  on  Little  Raccoon  creek,  between  where  Waveland 
now  stands  and  the  mouth  of  that  stream.  After  preaching  to  them  for 
some  weeks,  some  times  in  groves  and  some  times  in  private  houses,  he  or- 
ganized them  into  what  was  known  as  Shiloh  Presbyterian  church.  In  1824 
they  erected  a  hewed-log  meeting  house  for  worship,  near  Little  RaVcoon 
creek,  about  four  miles  northeast  of  the  town  of  Rockville.  This  was  the 
first  built  in  Parke  county.  The  ruling  elders  were  Amos  P.  Balch,  William 
McMillan,  Jonathan  Garrison.  James  Buchanan  and  Henry  Anderson.  It 
is  said  that  this  church  in  1830  reported  some  one  hundred  members  to  the 
general  assembly.  Revs.  S.  K.  Snead,  D.  C.  Proctor,  Isaac  Reed,  Gideon 
Blackburn,  Samuel  Taylor,  John  Young  and  James  Thompson  visited  the 
church  and  preached  more  or  less  to  it  prior  to  1828,  when  Rev.  Samuel  H. 
McNutt,  a  young  minister  from  Virginia,  became  stated  supply  to  that  peo- 
ple, and  so  continued  until  1832.  That  year  a  large  section  of  Shiloh  church 


and  congregation,  together  with  a  number  who  had  removed  from  other 
states  to  Rockville,  resolved  to  start  a  new  enterprise  at  that  place.  Accord- 
ingly, on  August  II,  1832,  after  a  sermon  by  the  Rev.  John  Thompson,  a 
church  consisting  of  forty  members  was  organized,  with  the  Rev.  S.  H. 
McNutt  as  pastor.  Henry  Anderson,  James  L.  Allen  and  James  McCamp- 
bell  were  chosen  ruling  elders;  the  two  latter  were  then  ordained  and  the 
three  installed  as  ruling  elders  of  the  Rockville  Presbyterian  church.  Early 
in  1833  they  erected  the  old  First  church. 

In  1835  Rev.  McNutt,  who  had  served  the  church  as  stated  supply,  be- 
came the  regular  pastor,  and  officiated  as  such  until  1846,  when  by  mutual 
consent  his  pastoral  relations  to  the  church  was  dissolved,  and  he  was  fol- 
lowed by  the  Rev.  William  Y.  Allen.  In.  March,  1839,  the  church  reported 
one  hundred  and  thirty  members  to  the  general  assembly,  only  nine  of  whom 
remained  in  the  bounds  of  the  congregation  in  1877,  a  large  number  having 
died  and  removed,  many  emigrating  to  the  far  West.  In  18S0  Dr.  Beaty 
was  the  only  surviving  minister  of  old  Shiloh;  all  the  members  of  the  old 
organization  have  passed  away  except  John  C.  Gilkeson  and  Margaret  and 
Isabella  Gilkeson.  In  1839  forty-one  members  withdrew  and  formed  a  sep- 
arate church  known  as  the  Second  Presbyterian  church  of  Rockville  (New 
School).  The  First  Presbyterian  church  was  now  known  as  Old  School.  In 
April,  1842,  the  First  church  reported  one  hundred  and  sixteen  members;  in 
1843,  one  hundred  and  thirty- four;  and  in  1845,  one  hundred  and  forty-four, 
which  last  number  was  the  largest  ever  reported.  In  1859,  the  membership 
was  about  ninety.  *  *  *  In  1862,  Rev.  W.  Y.  Allen  requested  the 
church  to  unite  with  him  in  asking  the  presbytery  to  dissolve  the  pastoral 
relation  existing  between  him  and  the  church,  both  of  which  requests  were 
granted,  and  after  a  pastorate  of  almost  sixteen  years  Mr.  Allen  closed  his 
labors  in  this  pulpit.  The  Rev.  S.  H.  McNutt  succeeded  as  stated  supply 
one  year,  and  was  succeeded  in  June,  1863,  by  the  Rev.  Reaubien  in  the  same 
capacity-.  The  latter  resigned  in  November,  1864,  and  moved  to  Philadel- 
phia. The  pulpit  was  then  practically  vacant  for  one  year,  after  which  Rev. 
John  Mitchell  served  a  year  and  resigned.  Rev.  Dr.  Jewett,  a  Congregational 
minister  from  Terre  Haute,  came  next  and  supplied  the  church  until  the 
reunion  in  1869.  In  1866  James  R.  McArthur,  from  Alabama,  was  added 
to  the  bench  of  elders,  and  in  1868  D.  H.  Maxwell,  T.  N.  Rice  and  ^^^  L.  Mc- 
Millen  were  ordained  ruling  elders.  The  three  last,  with  J.  C.  Gilkeson  and 
Levi  Sidwell,  constituted  the  bench  of  elders  at  the  time  of  the  reunion.  On 
April   22,    1839,    forty-one   members   withdrew   and    organized    the    Second 



Presbyterian  church  of  Rockville  ( Xew  School),  as  before  mentioned. 
James  L.  Allen  and  David  Todd  were  chosen  ruling  elders.  Rev.  S.  G. 
Lowry,  of  Crawfordsville,  was  the  stated  supply  from  July  15,  1839,  to 
July  15,  1847.  During  his  pastorate  one  hundred  and  twenty-three  members 
wre  received  into  the  church.  A  house  of  worship  was  erected,  and  on 
November  22,  1840,  was  dedicated,  the  sermon  lieing  preached  by  Rev.  John 
S.  Thompson,  of  Crawfordsville.  In  1847,  Rev.  Lowry  was  succeeded  by 
Rev.  W.  M.  Cheever,  who  was  the  next  year  regularly  installed  pastor,  and 
continued  as  such  until  the  latter  part  of  the  year  1849,  when  he  gave  way 
to  the  Rev.  W.  D.  Rositer.  The  fruits  of  Mr.  Cheever's  ministry  was  the 
addition  of  twenty-eight  into  the  church.  Rev.  George  A.  Adams  preached 
from  1852  to  1853,  and  added  thirteen  to  the  church.  Rev.  John  A.  Tiffany 
succeeded  ^Ir.  Adams  in  1856,  and  remained  as  stated  supply  two  years,  in 
which  time  nine  united  with  the  church.  In  the  early  part  of  1859,  Rev. 
John  O.  Blythe  began  his  labors,  remaining  eight  months  and  receiving  two 
into  the  church.  The  next  stated  supply  was  Rev.  John  Hawks,  whose  period 
of  service  extended  from  1859  to  1866.  During  six  years  of  this  time  one 
hundred  and  four  members  were  added  to  the  congregation.  On  February  3, 
1862,  1.  G.  Coffin,  previously  elected,  was  ordained  a  ruling  elder.  The 
spring  and  summer  months  of  1867  found  the  pulpit  only  occasionally  sup- 
plied, but  on  October  23d  the  Rev.  John  M.  Bishop  began  his  ministrations. 

"On  June  11,  1869,  the  elders  of  this  society  addressed  a  communication 
to  the  First  Presbyterian  church  of  Rockville,  proposing  a  union  of  the  two, 
and  at  a  congregational  meeting  of  that  church,  held  July  17-22,  the  proposi- 
tion was  accepted.  Accordingly,  on  December  2gth  the  union  was  formally 
consummated  at  a  called  meeting  of  the  Greencastle  jiresbytery,  convened  at 
Terre  Haute,  the  Crawfordsville  presbytery,  to  which  the  First  church  be- 
longed, having  previously  set  it  off  for  that  purpose.  Rev.  John  M.  Bishop 
was  continued  pastor  of  the  united  church  until  October  23,  1872,  when  Rev. 
Henry  L.  Dickerson  was  installed  stated  supply.  Early  in  the  summer  of 
1877  the  latter  resigned  his  charge  and  removed  to  Danville,  Indiana.  Rev. 
William  H.  Hillis  was  the  next  to  serve  as  pastor."' 

It  may  be  stated  that  in  1880  this  church  had  a  membership  of  one  hun- 
dred and  fort\-one.  In  1870  a  fine  large  brick  edifice  was  erected  and 
served  well  its  purpose  until  the  present  church  structure  was  built  in  1891, 
or  rather  remodeled,  and  is  known  as  Memorial  church.  A  pipe  organ  was 
added  in  April,  1910,  at  a  cost  of  two  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  The  pres- 
ent membership  of  this  church  is  two  hundred  and  sixty.  The  pastors  since  the 


last  mentioned  have  been  as  follows:  Revs.  W.  H.  Hillis,  from  1879  to 
1881 ;  James  Omelvena,  from  1881  to  August,  1887;  James  Kerns,  from 
January  17,  1887,  to  1888;  J.  H.  Sharrard,  from  May  17,  1888,  to  March 
20,  1895;  J.  P.  Roth,  from  June  17,  1896,  to  May  29,  1899;  J.  C.  Christie, 
from  1899  to  1903;  H.  L.  Nave,  from  January  10,  1904,  to  1908;  W.  B. 
Chancelor,  from  1908  to  the  present  date. 

In  conclusion,  it  may  be  added  that  when  the  Old  and  New  School 
churches  united,  the  bells  of  the  two  societies  were  taken  from  their  re- 
spective buildings  and  recast  into  one  which  hangs  in  the  tower  in  the  rear 
of  the  new  church.  This  is  indeed  a  beautiful  symbol  of  the  perfect  union 
of  the  two  church  bodies.  The  old  Second  church  building,  in  the  west  part 
of  town,  was  converted  into  a  carriage  shop  for  Foster  Brothers.  The  old 
First  church  was  sold  to  John  Tate  and  others  and  for  a  time  used  for  school 
purposes.  Afterwards  the  Colored  Baptists  held  services  in  it  and  later  it 
became  an  implement  house. 

In  Liberty  township,  in  1847,  ^  Presbyterian  congregation  was  organ- 
ized with  twenty  members,  and  the  following  year  a  meeting  house  was  built. 
It  was  burned  and  rebuilt  in  1877.  at  a  cost  of  eight  hundred  dollars.  Rev. 
James  Ashmore  was  the  first  pastor  of  which  we  have  any  record.  Rev.  T. 
A.  Williams  was  pastor  in  1880  and  then  the  church  had  a  membership  of 

In  Reserve  township  a  Presbyterian  church  was  erected  in  1853.  The 
first  minister  was  Rev.  John  Hawks,  who  organized  the  congregation  and  car- 
ried on  the  building  operations  of  the  first  church.  He  was  succeeded  by 
Rev.  Thomas  Griffith  and  he  by  Rev.  William  Wilmer.  who  in  the  later 
seventies  was  followed  by  Rev.  Stinson  from  Kentucky,  who  had  about  forty 
members  under  his  charge. 

In  Adams  township,  the  New  Bethel  Presbyterian  church  was  located 
on  the  Rockville  gravel  road,  two  and  a  half  miles  out  of  Rockville.  It  was 
organized  in  1859  by  twelve  members.  For  a  time  the  congregation  wor- 
shiped in  the  school  house,  but  later  a  nine  hundred  dollar  church  building 
was  erected.  Rev.  John  Hawke  was  the  first  pastor  of  this  church.  At  one 
time  more  than  sixty  names  were  on  the  church  roll  and  forty  were  added 
after  a  single  revival  period.  For  many  years  this  society  was  the  means  of 
doing  a  great  deal  of  good  in  the  community  in  which  it  was  located. 

At  Judson,  in  Washington  township,  there  was  a  Presbyterian  church 
organized  early  in  the  seventies  and  in  1873  a  luiilding  was  erected  l>v  this 
denomination  and  the  Methodists  in  union. 


Another  Presbyterian  church  was  formed  in  Liberty  township  March 
10,1876,  Rev.  J.  W.  Hanna  being  the  first  preacher.  This  never  came  to  be 
a  large  congregation. 


In  1912  the  Presbyterian  churches  of  this  county  are  located  as  follows: 
Rockville,  Memorial  church,  with  two  hundred  and  sixty  members;  Mt. 
Herman  church,  at  Howard,  which  was  moved  in  from  the  country  in  1901 
and  now  has  a  membership  of  fifty-five;  New  Bethel,  three  and  a  half  miles 
out  of  Rockville,  an  old  society  that  has  virtually  gone  down,  but  the  few  re- 
maining meml^ers  still  hold  the  church  property,  and  have  occasional  services ; 
the  Guion-Judson  church  with  fifty-five  members;  Bethany  church  was  a 
country  church  until  about  1910,  when  it  was  removed  to  the  town  of  Mar- 
shall and  now  has  a  membership  of  ninety-one;  Montezuma  has  a  Presby- 
terian church  of  thirty  members  and  owns  its  own  manse. 

The  Cumberland  Presbyterians  had  a  joint  building  in  Liberty  township 
at  one  time  and  a  small  congregation. 


A  society  of  this  denomination  was  organized  in  Greene  township  in 
1858,  by  the  union  of  the  Associate  Reform  Presbyterians,  Associate  Presby- 
terians and  Covenanters.  The  next  year  they  commenced  to  erect  a  place  for 
worship,  which  was  finished  in  i860.  Its  cost  was  less  than  eight  hundred 
dollars.  William  G.  Spenser  was  the  first  ordained  minister  of  this  church. 
In  1880  the  society  had  a  membership  of  forty-four.  The  church  was  located 
on  section  35. 

This  branch  of  Presbyterianism  w^as  founded  in  Scotland  in  1733  by 
members  who  disliked  certain  things  connected  with  the  old  Presbyterian 
creed.  In  1753  it  established  its  first  church  in  this  country,  at  Philadelphia. 
In  1779  this  sect  united  with  the  Reformed  Presbyterians  and  formed  the 
Associate  Presbyterian  denomination.  The  Associate  Presbyterian  church 
of  Portland  Mills,  originally  called  the  Raccoon,  was  organized  February  19, 
1829,  by  Rev.  James  P.  Miller,  a  missionaiy  worker  appointed  by  the  synod. 
The  first  pastor  here  was  Rev.  Nathaniel  Ingels,  who  was  followed  by  James 
Dixon,  who  after  a  quarter  of  a  century  of  faithful  work,  rested  from  his 
labors.  The  first  meeting  house  was  made  of  logs  and  was  erected  in  1831. 
This  was  succeeded  in   1850  by  a  large  frame  building  and  again  in   1874 


another  took  the  place  of  that  structure  and  cost  the  congregation  two  thou- 
sand six  hundred  dollars.     It  seated  six  hundred  persons. 

At  present  the  denomination  has  in  this  county  is  not  strong,  if  indeed 
there  be  an  organization  at  all. 


The  Christian  church  at  Rockville  was  organized  in  September,  1838, 
with  sixteen  members,  and  the  next  3'ear  a  church  building  30  by  40  feet  was 
erected  on  lot  No.  73  of  the  original  town  plat.  William  Cooper  was  the 
contractor  and  Joseph  Ralston  assisted  him  in  the  work  of  building.  For 
twenty  years  and  more  this  sect  carried  forward  a  praiseworthy  work.  In 
1858  a  large  number  of  the  members  relaxed  their  connection  when  a  re- 
organization was  effected,  thirtj^-nine  men  and  women  placing  their  names  on 
the  new  roll.  In  1862  there  were  over  eighty  communicants.  Strong  inter- 
est was  manifested  for  a  time,  but  in  1865  the  church  became  completely 
disorganized  and  lapsed  for  a  period  of  ten  years,  no  service  being  held  dur- 
ing that  time.  On  February  23,  1875,  a  society  of  Christians  was  formed 
from  the  Boyd  school  house.  Both  that  and  the  preaching  place  were  called 
"Whitehall."  By  August,  1875,  through  Thomas  Boardman,  the  church 
was  transferred  to  Rockville,  to  unite  with  those  of  the  same  faith  in  that 
town.  The  congregation  was  raised  to  sixty-four  members.  At  the  end  of 
four  years  attendance  flagged  and  not  over  a  dozen  attended  services.  Ac- 
cordingly, on  November  21,  1879,  Thomas  Boardman  addressed  a  letter  to 
each  of  the  brethren  exhorting  them  to  attend  on  the  30th  and  assist  in  an- 
other organization.  This  call  was  answered  by  thirty-one  persons  renewing 
their  membei-ship.  Of  the  present  of  this  church  it  may  be  said,  that  it  now 
numbers  about  one  hundred  and  thirty  and  has  a  frame  edifice  and  property 
worth  about  five  thousand  dollars.  This  was  built  in  1894.  The  present 
pastor  is  Rev.  William  T.  Barbre,  now  on  his  fifth  year  as  the  minister. 

At  Catlin  a  Christian  church  was  organized  in  Raccoon  township,  about 
1867,  with  a  membership  of  forty-two.  A  house  of  worship  was  erected  at 
a  cost  of  one  thousand  six  hundred  dollars  in  the  village  of  Catlin.  In  1871-2 
Jacob  Wright  held  a  well  attended  revival.  This  church  had  its  own  troubles 
from  time  to  time,  and  the  faithful  few  numbered  only  twenty-five  in  1880. 
The  building  still  stands,  but  the  society  has  gone  down. 

In  Jackson  township,  the  Christians  erected  a  church  thirty  bv  forty 
feet,  in  1873,  which  building  cost  two  thousand  dollars,  and  had  a  seating 
capacity  of  five  hundred.     Previous  to  that  these  people  worshiped  with  the 


Methodists,  in  tlie  grove  and  at  the  mill.  The  house  was  dedicated  April  lo, 
1874,  by  Thomas  Goodman.  Here  numerous  revivals  and  special  services 
were  held  and  many  were  added  to  the  church  on  profession  of  faith.  This 
church  is  located  in  the  sprightly  little  town  of  Lena.  The  church  here  is 
not  flourishing  well  at  this  date. 

In  Greene  township  the  Christian  people  built  the  first  house  of  worship 
in  1839  at  Portland  Mills,  "in  the  face  of  secular  opposition,"  wrote  one  of  its 
leaders  many  years  since.  Up  to  1880  there  had  been  established  three  dis- 
tinct societies  of  this  order  in  this  township,  the  first  in  1839,  which  society 
erected  a  church  in  1850,  costing  one  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  The 
first  minister  was  Rev.  J.  M.  Harris.  The  second  was  the  congregation  that 
built  a  building  at  Bank's  Springs,  on  section  5,  in  1840,  and  this  was  a  log 
structure,  followed  by  a  frame  house  thirty-five  by  forty  feet.  The  third 
society  was  one  that  joined  with  other  denominations  of  the  community  in 
erecting  a  union  church  building  at  Parkville,  in  1865.  This  building  burned 
later.  In  1870,  the  Christians,  through  the  efforts  of  James  H.  Jack,  built 
a  church  costing  one  thousand  seven  hundred  dollars.  This  was  free  to  all 
denominations  when  not  in  use  by  this  people. 

In  Sugar  Creek  township,  Pleasant  Grove  Christian  church  (New 
Light),  so  called  by  many,  was  instituted  at  the  school  house  in  1868,  where 
meetings  continued  to  be  held  until  1870,  when  a  church  was  erected  thirty- 
two  by  forty-two  feet,  costing  one  thousand  dollars.  Rev.  L.  W.  Bannon 
was  the  first  minister  and  organizer,  and  began  with  a  membership  of  thirty 
persons.  In  1881  this  church  had  a  working  membership  of  one  hundred  and 

The  New  Lights,  or  a  branch  (or  another  name  for  Christians),  built  in 
Howard  township  in  1835  a  log  building  in  which  to  worship.  It  served  a 
decade,  when  they  purchased  the  old  Missionary  Baptist  church  in  conjunc- 
tion \\ith  the  Metliodist  people  and  occupied  the  same  jointly. 

At  present  (1912)  the  Christian  churches  of  Parke  county  are:  The 
Rockville  church.  Union  church,  four  miles  west  of  Rockville,  has  fifty 
members,  but  no  regular  pastor.  Christian  chapel,  or  Daly's  church,  in  the 
south  part  of  the  county  where  Rev.  Chester  Fiddler,  of  Terre  Haute, 
preaches  occasionally;  membership  about  ninety.  At  Mecca,  this  society 
has  a  good  frame  building  and  a  small  congregation.  .\t  Montezuma,  there 
is  an  old  church  and  a  congregation  of  about  forty  membership.  At  Bloom- 
ingdale  the  church  numbers  about  one  hundred  and  twenty,  worships  in  a 
frame  building,  Rev.  Elvin  Daniels,  preacher.     At  Byron,  there  is  a  brick 


church  and  about  seventy-five  members;  Rev.  C.  C.  Dobson,  of  Brownsburg, 
preaches  here.  At  Parkville  there  is  a  frame  church  and  about  sixty  mem- 
bership; Rev.  Bratton  preaches  once  a  month.  At  Bellemore  and  Coxville 
there  are  church  buildings,  but  no  regular  services  at  this  date. 


It  is  believed  that  Methodism  was  first  taught  in  Parke  county  by  the 
giant  preacher  from  old  Virginia,  Rev.  William  Cravens,  who  probably 
preached  the  first  Methodist  sermon  north  of  Big  Raccoon  creek,  and  he,  with 
Father  Armstrong,  John  Strange  and  William  H.  Smith,  founded  the  church 
in  Parke  county.  There  was  preaching  here  long  before  there  was  any  organ- 
ized society  of  Methodists,  but  in  1823  there  were  enough  of  the  Methodist 
faith  here  to  meet  in  classes  formed  and  which  met  at  private  houses,  and  at 
least  as  early  as  1826  Rev.  William  Smith,  later  known  by  all  as  "Billy 
Smith,"  preached  regularly  in  the  old  log  court  house  on  the  north  side  of  the 
public  square  in  Rockville.  It  was  probably  in  1826  that  the  church  was 
regularly  organized,  and  from  that  time  on  religious  pioneering  went  forward 
with  the  felling  of  forest  trees  and  the  killing  out  of  snakes  and  wolves,  both 
so  numerous  here  then.  The  early  church  books  show  the  names  of  Cornelius 
Sunderland  and  wife,  and  Greenberg  and  Lavicie  Ward.  In  1828  Rev. 
Samuel  Brinton  took  charge  of  the  church  as  its  regular  pastor.  His  labors 
were  mightily  blessed  and  for  many  years  this  was  the  most  prosperous 
church  within  Parke  county. 

From  the  pen  of  Editor  and  Author  Beadle,  of  Rockville,  and  from 
historic  accounts  published  in  the  Rockville  Tribune,  the  writer  is  able  to 
here  reproduce  the  early  history  of  the  Methodist  church  at  Rockville,  which 
is  indeed  complete  and  very  interesting.  We  quote  as  follows  from  this 
historic  account  given  in  1879-80: 

"The  chastening  and  hallowed  influences  of  the  gospel  followed  close 
upon  the  footsteps  of  the  pioneers;  and  a  settler's  cabin  was  hardly  up  liefore 
an  itinerant  was  there  with  his  Bible  and  hymn  book,  gathering  the  family  for 
devotion  around  the  altar  in  the  wilderness.  The  first  settlers  were  an  in- 
tensely earnest  people;  they  manifested  no  half-wav  religious  feeling,  but 
worked  for  the  Lord  as  they  worked  for  themselves,  with  loud  shouts  and 
heavy  blows.  An  early  missionary  in  these  parts,  probably  the  first  of  the 
Methodist  faith  in  the  county,  and  the  one  above  named,  was  William  Cravens 
of  Virginia,  a  fearless  and  remarkable  man.  He  was  a  mason  by  trade,  and 


had  been  dissipated,  but  was  converted  and  took  a  singular  and  solemn  vow 
of  abstinence  by  putting  his  bottle  into,  and  making  it  a  part  of,  a  wall  which 
he  was  building.  He  was  powerful  of  frame,  a  slaveholder,  and  quite 
wealthy.  He  abandoned  his  former  vices,  and  liberated  his  slaves.  Taking 
the  pulpit,  he  assailed  the  great  evils  of  Southern  society;  he  declaimed  against 
drinking,  gambling,  horse-racing  and  slavery  as  an  institution.  This  pro- 
voked dangerous  opposition,  -and  mobs  threatened  his  life.  But  he  was  bold 
as  a  lion.  With  Christian  intrepidity  he  sent  his  appointments  to  those  who 
waited  for  his  coming  with  vengeance  in  their  hearts,  never  failing  to  meet 
his  engagements  at  the  stated  hour,  nor  to  utter  with  unshaken  firmness  his 
daring  sentiments.  He  became  famous  in  Virginia  as  a  preacher,  and  hardly 
less  noted  in  Indiana.  He  did  his  Master's  work  and  counted  not  the  cost. 
John  Strange  and  another  named  Armstrong,  able  and  distinguished  men 
who  left  flattering  and  fascinating  traditions  among  the  people,  planted 
Methodism  in  this  part  of  Parke  county.  Accounts  are  given  of  Methodist 
preaching  as  early  as  1822.  In  1824  Grimes  was  the  circuit  rider,  and  meet- 
ings were  held  at  John  Leinbarger's  on  the  Leatherwood,  and  at  James 
Starin's  on  the  Big  Raccoon.  The  last  place  is  now  called  Pleasant  Valley. 
A  church  was  subsecjuently  built  there,  but  in  the  seventies  had  become  unfit 
for  use  and  was  abandoned.  After  Grimes  came  Anderson,  a  brother-in- 
law  of  Strange.  The  latter  was  a  powerful  teacher  of  the  word ;  it  is  said 
that  he  was  the  first  presiding  elder,  and  was  followed  by  Amistrong  and 
James  Thompson.  The  first  log  building  in  Rockville  occupied  for  stated  relig- 
ious services  was  the  old  log  court  house ;  this  was  used  until  the  brick  school 
house,  long  since  gone  into  decay,  was  constructed.  In  1832,  the  Methodists, 
Baptists  and  Presbyterians  were  still  using  this  building  for  church  services. 
The  new  court  house  was  then  used  by  all  denominations.  Occasionally  there 
were  great  awakenings,  and  within  these  buildings  were  stirring  revivals. 
The  old  Presbyterian  church,  the  first  house  of  worship,  proper,  erected  in 
Rockville,  was  built  in  1833.  The  Methodists  enjoyed  the  privilege  of  its 
frequent  use.  In  1834,  the  sainted  Bishop  Roberts  visited  Rockville,  and  by 
invitation  of  Rev.  McNutt  preached  in  this  house.  A  little  later  in  the  same 
season,  Richard  Hargrave,  a  talented  young  Methodist  divine,  was  passing 
through  the  country  and  was  invited  to  deliver  a  sermon  in  this  Presbyterian 
church.  He  delivered  in  all  nine  discourses  which  it  is  alleged  set  the  people 
to  thinking  on  theology.  It  should  be  remarked  that  among  the  leading  men 
were  found  many  skeptics. 

"Cornelius  Sunderland  was  foremost  in  founding  the  first  class.     Smith 


was  on  the  circuit  in  1826  and  laid  the  foundation  of  iVIethodist  success.  A 
little  later  came  Cornelius  Swank  and  Samuel  Brinton,  when  man)-  were  re- 
ceived into  the  church.  Swank  was  a  better  man  than  a  preacher.  Still 
later  came  Samuel  Cooper.  Prominent  among  the  lay  members  of  those 
early  days  were :  Elisha  Adamson  and  wife,  Samuel  Noel,  John  Linkswiler 
and  wife  Rebecca,  Samuel  Baker,  David  Reeder,  James  Justus,  Scott  Noel 
and  wife.  Gen.  John  Meacham,  Mark  Meacham,  Dr.  Peter  Q.  Stryker,  John- 
son S.  White  and  wife  Hannah,  Thompson  Ward  and  wife,  Miles  Hart  and 
wife,  Uncle  Perry  Cummings,  Greenberry  Ward,  Governor  Wright  and  wife 
Louisa,  and  those  whose  names  have  been  lost  with  the  flight  of  years.  For 
several  years  betwen  1833  ^^'^'^  1850  the  society  was  divided  into  three  classes; 
one  met  at  the  church  right  after  serxice,  one  at  Governor  Wright's  house, 
and  the  other  at  Dr.  Stryker's  house.  An  era  of  great  prosperity  to  the 
church  began  in  1833  and  continued  till  1850.  In  the  spring  of  1855,  there 
was  a  powerful  revival  and  many  members  were  added  to  the  church.  ]\Irs. 
Elisha  Adamson  was  a  spiritual  and  talented  woman  and  Mrs.  Governor 
Wright  was  an  exceedingly  pious  and  hard  working  church  laborer,  who 
always  shouted  in  meeting.  Miss  Mary  Watt  was  another  devoted  Christian 
lady.  In  these  three  gifted  women  the  spirit  of  fervent  work  and  consecra- 
tion were  happily  blended  and  sweetly  displayed.  Miss  Watt  was  a  school 
teacher  and  died  in  1847."' 

The  society  had  used  successively  the  log  court  house,  the  brick  school 
house,  and  the  new  court  house,  but  in  1837  decided  to  build  a  church.  Their 
numbers  were  indeed  few  enough,  and  their  means  small  enough,  for  such 
an  undertaking,  and  the  burden  came  heavily  on  the  few  abler  ones.  But 
tliey  succeeded  in  building  a  large  house,  now  long  since  known  as  the  "Old 
Church."  It  was  finally  sold  to  the  .\frican  Methodist  people  and  used  by 
them  until  about  1900,  when  it  vas  torn  down.  It  is  related  that  Samuel 
Noel  mortgaged  his  farm  for  money  with  which  to  complete  this  church 
building,  and  possibly  others  did  the  same  thing.  Its  cost  was  two  thousand 
five  hundred  dollars.  A  parsonage  was  built  two  or  three  years  later.  The 
Indiana  conference  was  held  in  this  building  the  year  after  its  completion. 
It  served  the  congregation  twenty-eight  years  and  was  then  abandoned,  the 
society  returning  for  another  year  to  the  court  house.  Re\'.  Thomas  Mere- 
dith held  the  last  services  in  the  old  church  in  1865.  The  next  spring  the 
foundation  for  a  new  building  was  laid,  and  that  year  the  house  was  finished. 
Rev.  Meredith  circulated  the  subscription  and  raised  the  money  with  which 
to  build  the  church.  It  was  erected  on  lot  30  of  the  original  town  ])lat  of 
Rockville.     The  oldest  record  book  begins  at  the  datings  in  1837-8. 


Of  the  present  church  building  and  society  at  Rockville,  let  it  be  under- 
stood that  the  church  erected  in  1865-6  served  until  about  1900,  when  it  was 
really  rebuilt,  the  old  walls  being  used  and  new  ones  provided  to  enlarge  the 
church  somewhat  and  in  1910  the  building  was  thoroughly  overhauled  and  a 
new  front  and  rear  rooms  and  modern  basement  constructed,  really  making  a 
new  church  edifice  of  the  old  structure,  giving  the  present  commodious  build- 
ing. These  recent  improvements  cost  the  church  ten  thousand  dollars  and 
included  the  furnace  heating  plants,  a  splendid  pipe  organ,  a  large  gallery, 
carpets,  stained  windows,  etc.  It  was  dedicated  by  Bishop  David  H.  Moore, 
February  13,  1910.  What  is  known  as  the  Mary  L.  Noel  parsonage  belongs 
to  this  society  and  is  valued  at  five  thousand  dollars. 

This  is  in  the  Greencastle  district  of  the  Methodist  church.  The  present 
membership  in  Rockville  is  three  hundred  and  eighty-seven,  and  the  church 
is  valued  at  twenty  thousand  dollars,  which  is  exclusive  of  the  parsonage 
property.  Since  1880,  the  pastors  have  been  in  the  following  order:  Revs. 
John  L.  Boyd,  1880;  L.  S.  Buckles,  1884;  O.  R.  Beebe,  1885;  J.  G.  Camp- 
bell, 1887;  F.  M.  Pvey;  John  A.  Maxwell,  1895:  T.  F.  Drake,  1896;  S.  P. 
Colvin  began  in  1896;  H.  N.  Ogden,  1900;  H.  L.  Davis,  1901 ;  F.  W.  Hixson, 
1903;  D.  D.  Hoagland,  1906;  A.  P.  Delong,  1908:  Alfred  S.  Warriener,  1910 
and  still  pastor  in  1912-3. 

In  Reserve  township  a  Methodist  church  was  formed  shortly  after  the 
settlement  at  Montezuma,  on  the  old  canal.  The  church  building  was  erected 
in  1849,  by  Rev.  Hezekiah  Smith,  who  visited  the  vicinity  about  that  date  and 
infused  fresh  spiritual  life  into  the  settlement.  In  1880  the  records  show  a 
membership  there  of  seventy. 

In  Union  township,  the  first  Methodist  class  meetings  were  held  at  the 
home  of  Thomas  C.  Burton.  Much  later  and  in  1846  Canaan  church  was 
erected.  This  region  was  then  a  part  of  Rockville  circuit,  but  later  was 
known  as  the  Bellemore  circuit.  In  1868  the  society  built  a  new  church  at 
Bellemore.     Bishop  Bowman  dedicated  this  building. 

In  Raccoon  tov\'nship  the  first  work  of  Methodism  was  the  first  of  any 
within  the  township;  the  date  cannot  now  be  determined,  but  suffice  to 
state  that  it  was  at  a  very  early  pioneer  day.  A  society  was  there  organized 
in  1825,  but  preaching  had  been  had,  long  before  that.  Another  society  was 
organized  at  about  the  same  date  at  the  neighborhood  of  the  brother  of  the 
noted  Rev.  John  Strange.  A  church  was  built  on  the  farm  of  James  Crabb. 
The  first  to  become  pastor  in  Pleasant  Valley  was  Rev.  William  Taylor. 
This  church  was  quite  successful  for  some  time.     In  1859  a  twenty-one-day 


revival  was  held  and  many  added  to  the  church.  In  1855,  at  Pleasant  Valley, 
a  church  was  built,  and  at  one  time  there  were  more  than  a  hundred  and  ten 
members  enrolled.     The  society  at  Bridgeton  was  organized  in  1866. 

In  Penn  township  the  Methodists  organized  and  built  a  church  in  1850, 
under  Rev.  H.  Smith  and  in  1879  there  were  over  a  hundred  members. 

In  Florida  township,  as  in  most  other  townships  in  the  county,  barring  a 
few  only,  the  Methodists  were  first  in  starting  church  work.  The  first 
Methodist  preaching  in  this  township  was  held  at  private  houses.  Rev. 
William  Mac,  a  local  minister,  did  the  first  work  for  the  church  in  this 
region,  holding  his  first  meeting  at  the  home  of  David  D.  Loree.  In  1834, 
Isaac  Owens  came  in  as  the  pioneer  missionary  minister,  preaching  his  first 
sermon  at  the  house  of  Capt.  Daniel  Stringham,  a  Revolutionary  soldier. 
At  that  meeting  eleven  united  with  the  church.  ^Meetings  were  subsequently 
held  in  Mr.  Loree's  barn  and  carriage  house.  The  place  of  meeting  was  then 
changed  to  a  school  house  in  the  northwest  corner  of  the  township  and  still 
later  to  one  on  Banjamine  Newton's  land.  The  first  church  in  the  township 
was  built  by  this  denomination.  In  the  spring  of  1850  Friend  C.  Brown 
deeded  an  acre  of  ground  in  section  7,  to  the  trustees  of  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal church  of  Florida  for  the  purpose  of  erecting  a  church  upon  it.  In 
1872  a  second  church  was  provided  to  take  the  place  of  the  old  one.  A  well 
planned  cemeten,-  was  made  near  this  church,  and  there  repose  the  remains 
of  many  of  the  devoted  members,  as  well  as  others  long  since  departed  from 
earthly  scenes.  In  the  northwestern  portion  of  the  township  is  another  hand- 
some building  erected  by  this  same  society,  at  the  foot  of  the  bluff,  around 
which,  on  the  side  of  the  hill,  is  a  beautiful  cemetery. 

In  1830  Elijah  Ward  lield  meetings  in  the  houses  of  settlers,  and  later 
in  the  log  school  house,  and  in  a  store  building,  finally  at  Roseville,  where 
Rev.  William  Black  preached  the  first  sermon  in  1859.  In  i860  a  frame 
building  was  erected  at  an  expense  of  one  thousand  two  hundred  dollars.  In 
the  autumn  of  1870  forty  members,  under  Rev.  Thomas  Marshall,  com- 
menced holding  meetings  in  the  Dailey  school  house  and  effected  an  organiza- 
tion. Another  part  of  the  Roseville  congregation  organized  a  church  at 
Cox's  school  house  in  the  summer  of  1869.  Churches  or  classes  were  also 
formed  at  the  Doty  school  house  in  1878  and  other  points  within  this  town- 
ship which  has  ever  been  noted  for  its  Methodism. 

In  Liberty  township  a  Methodist  church  was  erected  in  1846,  costing 
three  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  in  cash  and  much  hard  labor.  The  member- 
ship at  one  time  was  two  hundred,  but  dwindled  to  twenty-five  by  1880.  Rev. 
Isaiah  Smith  was  the  first  preacher  there. 


In  Jackson  township,  prior  to  1856,  worshiped  the  Methodists  in  school 
houses,,  as  best  they  could,  but  at  that  date  they  decided  to  build,  Mansfield 
was  chosen  as  the  building  site  and  an  edifice  was  built  at  a  cost  of  eight 
hundred  dollars. 

Prior  to  1872  the  people  of  the  Methodist  faith  living  in  the  south  por- 
tion of  this  township  concluded  to  have  better  church  home  facilities,  hence 
built  a  neat  church  at  Lena,  at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  three  hundred  dollars. 

In  Washington  township,  in  about  1872-3,  a  Methodist  society  was  or- 
ganized by  Rev.  James  C.  Stemor. 

In  Sugar  Creek  township  a  congregation  was  organized  in  1855,  in  a 
school  house  near  Daniel  Heath's  residence  of  later  days,  where  they  wor- 
shiped until  1858,  when  they  built  a  frame  house,  which  was  burned  by  in- 
cendaries  during  the  Civil  war.  The  house  was  rebuilt  in  1862  and  opened 
for  worship  in  January  of  that  year.  The  society  was  constituted  through 
the  efforts  of  Mr.  Edwards,  an  old  Welsh  gentleman.  It  was  formed  with 
fourteen  members  and  in  1880  had  thirty- four.  A  building  then  in  use  cost 
one  thousand  one  hundred  dollars. 

In  Howard  township  the  first  church  of  this  or  any  denomination  was 
of  rough  logs  and  was  erected  in  1833,  and  known  as  McKenzie's  chapel. 
William  Smith  and  William  Bilbo  were  the  prime  movers  in  the  formation 
of  this  class.     Samuel  Cooper  was  their  first  minister. 

The  African  ]^Iethodist  Episcopal  church  at  Rock\-ille  was  organized  in 
1872  by  the  Rev.  Jesse  Bass.  Patrick  Thomas  and  Louisa  Black  began  a 
protracted  effort  in  Rockville,  in  May.  at  Thomas's  house,  and  carried  their 
meetings  from  house  to  house.  In  five  weeks  they  were  able  to  form  a 
society,  composed  of  the  following  persons:  Patrick  Thomas,  Louisa  Black, 
William  Lewis,  Samuel  Kirkman,  William  Brower,  Sarah  Williams,  Jesse 
Brower,  Eli  Kirkman,  Cynthia  Kirkman,  Ransome  Coble,  John  Robinson, 
George  Robinson,  George  Williams  and  Jerry  Craven.  This  earnest  little 
■band  of  colored  worshipers,  as  soon  as  they  had  organized,  purchased  the 
old  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  for  one  thousand  fi\-e  hundred  dollars. 
Among  the  first  pastors  were  Revs.  Nathan  Bass,  JohTi  McSmith,  John  Hart, 
John  Myers,  Johnson  Burden  and  ^^'.  S.  Lankford.  The  church  building 
was  described  in  1880  as  being  forty-four  by  sixty  feet  on  the  ground,  and 
was  a  good  substantial  building,  standing  on  lot  number  20,  in  the  West 
division,  and  had  a  frontage  of  one  hundred  feet  and  was  one  hundred  and 
sixty  feet  deep.  They  soon  added  to  the  building  and  pro\ided  a  comfortable 
parsonage,  the  entire  property  having  cost  them  two  thousand  dollars.     They 


were,  in  1880,  free  from  all  debts,  save  the  small  sum  of  forty  dollars.  The 
society  then  numbered  sixty-five.  The  Sunday  school  then  numbered  forty- 
nine  pupils,  Prof.  John  Wilson  being  superintendent  and  Augustus  Roberts, 

The  above  named  building  served  until  abovit  1900,  when  it  was  torn 
down  and  the  present  building  erected  on  its  site.  The  church  now  has  a 
membership  of  about  forty-two  persons  and,  while  not  large  in  numbers,  is 
doing  an  excellent  work  among  and  for  the  few  colored  population  of  Rock- 
ville  who  espouse  the  Methodist  Episcopal  faith.  The  present  district  super- 
intendent or  presiding  elder,  Rev.  Charles  Hunter,  has  charge  of  the  work 
in  a  very  large  scope  of  Indiana  territory  and  is  an  old  soldier  of  the  Civil 
war,  a  man  of  good  learning,  extended  travel  and  highly  intelligent,  just  the 
right  man  to  forward  the  best  interests  of  the  church  and  in  every  way  equal 
to  many  of  the  white  presiding  elders  in  this  and  adjoining  states.  The 
present  pastor  is  Rev.  Handy  Thompson,  who  has  recently  been  appointed  to 
Rockville  church. 

At  one  time  there  were  two  other  churches  of  this  denomination  within 
this  county,  but  owing  to  removals  of  the  floating  colored  population  these 
have  ceased  to  exist  as  societies. 


From  an  interview  with  the  pioneer  lady,  Mrs.  George  \\'.  Sill,  in  the 
eighties,  the  subjoined  is  gleaned :  , 

"A  few  years  after  the  noted  Lorenzo  Dow  was  announced  to  preach 
here  and  the  word  was  sent  all  over  the  county,  awakening  great  interest. 
The  day  came,  and  with  it  as  motley  a  congregation  as  Parke  county  ever 
saw.  A  huge  log,  roughly  leveled,  was  the  pulpit.  Near  it  were  a  few  seats 
occupied  by  the  women  and  young  children,  and  a  few  of  the  most  "sub- 
dued" men.  Behind  them  for  some  distance  were  all  sorts  and  conditions  of 
people,  sitting  on  logs  and  stumps,  or  stood  leaning  on  their  long  rifles,  or 
against  the  trees.  On  the  outskirts  of  the  crowd  were  several  hunters  clad 
in  buck-skin  with  beaded  moccasins,  the  whole  adorned  by  the  handiwork  of 
squaws,  and  to  one  side  was  a  small  group  of  Franco-Indian  half-breeds  and 
with  them  two  or  three  full  blooded  Indians.  No  one  had  seen  the  preacher 
enter  the  crowd,  when  most  unexpectedly  he  bounded  on  the  log  and,  doffing 
his  wolf-skin  cap,  glared  around  in  a  manner  that  seemed  more  like  insanity 
than  anything  else,  giving  them  near  him  a  decided  shock.     In  a  minute  the 


whole  audience  was  hushed;  then  in  a  strange,  quavering  voice,  drawing  the 
vowel  sounds  to  great  length,  now  recited  these  lines : 

'The  day  is  almost  gone, 

The  evening  shades  appear; 
Oh,  may  we  all  remember  well 

The  night  of  death  draws  near." 

"The  effect  was  electric;  every  eye  in  the  motley  audience  was  fixed  on 
the  speaker,  as  if  by  a  terrible  fascination  and  having  thus  prepared  the  way, 
he  proceeded  to  preach  in  a  more  natural  tone.  His  illustrations  were  drawn 
largely  from  the  common  life  of  his  hearers.  He  spoke  of  their  combats 
with  wolves  and  serpents,  and  symbolized  the  contests  of  the  human  soul;  he 
touched  upon  their  early  trials  and  ill  health,  and  pointed  to  the  Comforter; 
he  alluded  to  children  already  buried  in  the  young  settlement  and  to  the 
graves  of  kindreds  already  left  behind,  and  dwelt  with  great  energy  on  the 
promise  of  a  re-union  in  the  skies.  The  few  who  remember  the  scene  cannot 
say  that  any  marked  or  permanent  effect  was  produced.  Most  of  the  hear- 
ers came  from  mere  curiosity  and  were  too  much  interested  in  the  preacher's 
eccentricities  to  weigh  his  words." 


In  the  autumn  of  1912  the  following  churches  of  this  denomination 
were  in  existence  in  Parke  county : 

Bellemore  and  Marshall  circuit,  175  members;  value  of  church  property 
$4,000.  Aside  from  this  there  is  one  parsonage  valued  at  $700.  Pastor, 
T.  B.  Markin. 

Bloomingdale,  with  143  membership,  a  $1,200  parsonage  and  a  church 
valued  at  $6,400.     Pastor,  O.  M.  McKinney. 

Carbon  and  Sharon  circuit,  membership,  100;  two  churches  valued  at 
$5,000.     Pastor,  Ray  Stevenson. 

Catlin  and  Minchel  circuit,  with  a  membership  of  170,  two  churches, 
valued  at  $6,000.     This  circuit  included  Bridgeton.     Pastor,  Jesse  Bogue. 

Linebarger  chapel,  membership  36,  church  valued  at  $1,500.  Pastor, 
Julius  Pfeiffer. 

Mecca  and  Bethel  circuit,  with  a  membership  of  130;  three  liuildings, 
valued  at  $6,000.     Pastor,  Herbert  Webster. 

Montezuma,  with  a  membership  of  150:  a  brick  church  valued  at  $6,000. 
Pastor,  J.  J.  Davis. 


Rockville,  with  a  membership  of  387,  one  church  valued  at  $20,000; 
parsonage  vahied  at  $5,000.     Pastor,  Alfred  S.  Warriener. 

Rosedale,  with  a  membership  of  164,  one  church  valued  at  $6,000;  one 
parsonage  valued  at  $3,000.     Pastor,  C.  C.  Stanforth. 

The  above  pastors  were  serving  in  191 1  and  some  of  them  in  1912. 

In  addition  to  these  the  African  Methodist  Episcopal  have  a  church 
spoken  of  elsewhere,  at  Rockville. 


This  denomination  was  organized  into  a  church  society  in  Penn  town- 
ship in  1840,  but  no  church  was  erected  until  about  1869.  It  was  thirty  by 
forty  feet  in  size.  The  church  was  formed  by  Isaac  Pickard  and  John 
Ephlin  at  a  point  a  mile  to  the  east  of  Annapolis,  in  Washington  township. 

In  Union  township  this  people  was  well  represented  at  an  early  day. 
They  frequently  met  at  James  Bulion's  or  John  McGilvery's  houses:  also  at 
Moses  Hill's  or  Charles  Beache's.  In  1849  ^  church  was  erected  on  section 
30.  called  Otterbein.  The  society  grew  rapidly  and  in  1873-4  there  were 
reported  forty-one  members  as  having  been  added  thereto.  In  1866  about 
forty  of  these  people  met  at  the  Martin  school  house  to  organize  a  class  and 
Joseph  McCrary  was  chosen  leader.  In  March,  1867,  they  held  a  revival  and 
thirty-one  were  added  to  the  society.  A  thirty-by-forty-foot  frame  church 
was  erected  and  dedicated  in  November,  1867.  James  A.  Smith  was  minister 
in  charge  at  that  date. 

In  Sugar  Creek  township  there  was  in  existence  in  the  seventies  another 
United  Brethren  church  in  the  Bristle  Ridge  neighborhood. 


There  not  being  a  large  German  population  in  Parke  county,  this  denom- 
ination has  never  had  many  societies  or  churches.  In  1830,  however,  the 
Philadelphia  Lutheran  Church  Society  built  its  church  in  Greene  township. 
It  was  a  log  building,  used  as  school  house  and  church.  Within  a  year  after 
its  completion  it  was  burned.  In  1835  a  second  building  was  erected  on  Big 
Raccoon,  this  being  a  frame  structure.  Matthias  Sappinfield  was  a  leader  in 
this  society.  In  1866  another  church  was  built  at  a  cost  of  fifteen  hundred 
dollars  and  was  located  in  Greene  township  on  section  15.  At  first  this 
societv  numbered  fifty,  but  owing  to  emigration  it  was  greatly  reduced  in  the 


passage  of  years.    Several  Lutheran  ministers  went  forth  after  being  educated 
here  and  made  for  themselves  names  in  the  theological  world. 


The  first  Catholic  services  of  which  we  have  an  account  in  Parke  county 
was  in  1854,  at  the  house  of  Martin  Ryan,  three  miles  south  of  Rockville. 
Mass  was  read  by  Rev.  La  Lamere,  who  was  then  the  parish  priest  at  Terre 
Haute.  Rev.  Highland  was  then  appointed  by  the  bishop  to  the  missions  of 
Rockville,  Montezuma,  Greencastle  and  Bainbridge.  He  first  read  mass  at 
James  Kinney's  and  later  at  the  home  of  Patrick  Riordan,  where  it  was  held 
at  different  times  for  seven  years.  Finally,  a  church  was  built  by  Father 
Minerod.  The  members  of  every  other  church  generously  donated  to  this 
building  enterprise.  Services  were  then  held,  but  not  oftener,  as  a  rule,  than 
once  in  a  month  or  two.  James  Bowman  gave  instructions  to  the  children  of 
the  parish  for  a  number  of  years.  Next  this  work  was  carried  on  by  Mrs. 
E.  J.  Hughes,  who  voluntarily  gave  her  services. 

In  Reserve  township  what  was  styled  the  Church  of  the  Visitation  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin  Mary  was  established  after  the  Civil  war.  Father  McCarty 
was  the  first  priest  in  charge.  A  church  house  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  one 
thousand  dollars,  the  lot  having  been  donated  by  Mr.  Davis,  of  Rockville, 
late  in  the  seventies.  A  dwelling  for  the  priest  was  soon  built  near  the  chapel, 
while  the  cemetery  was  located  two  miles  south  of  town.  This  Catholic 
church  was  formed  in  the  town  of  Montezuma. 


In  the  autumn  of  19 12  the  Catholic  society  had  churches  in  Parke  county 
as  follows:  At  Rockville,  where  the  present  building  was  built  in  1886,  and 
is  in  charge  of  Father  Gorman;  it  is  known  as  St.  Joseph's.  There  is  a  church 
at  Mecca,  one  at  Montezuma  and  one  at  Diamond,  all  of  these  congregations 
being  served  by  the  Rockville  paster,  except  the  one  at  Diamond  which  is 
under  Father  Cobb. 


More  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago  the  following  account  of  the 
Society  of  Friends  in  Parke  county  was  written  after  careful  compilation  and 
research,  by  Hon.  Robert  Kelly: 

"The  first  meeting  of  the  Friends  in  Parke  county  took  place  at  the 


residence  of  Adam  Siler  in  1825,  and  were  kept  up  at  that  point  from  1825 
on  for  more  than  one  year.  Then  the  settlement  at  Bloomfield  and  Rocky- 
Run  began  to  assume  shape ;  the  place  of  meeting  was  changed  to  the  house 
of  Simon  Rubottom,  where  they  continued  until  the  sixth  month,  5th,  1826. 
At  this  date  the  first  meeting  house  was  erected  and  a  preparative  meeting 
established  by  the  authority  of  the  Honey  Creek  monthly  meeting.  Jeremiah 
Siler  and  Mary  Kelly  were  the  clerks  of  this  preparative  meeting,  the  records 
of  which  up  to  the  twelfth  month,  ist,  1827,  were  lost. 

"Bloomfield  meeting  was  established  twelfth  month,  ist,  1827,  by  an 
order  of  the  Blue  River  quarterly  meeting,  dated  Lick  Creek,  Orange  county, 
tenth  month,  27th,  1827.  The  committee  having  charge  of  its  establishment 
were  John  Bray,  J.  Jones,  James  Rhodes,  J.  Hadley.  and  C.  Hill.  They 
appointed  the  first  seventh  day  in  each  month  for  meeting.  At  this  meeting 
M.  Kelly,  Payton  Wilson,  N.  Newlin,  S.  Allen,  and  Isaiah  Pemberton  were 
appointed  to  have  the  meeting  house  grounds  surveyed,  and  a  grave-yard 
staked  off,  and  M.  Reynolds,  John  Newlin,  and  Isaiah  Pemberton  were  ap- 
pointed trustees  of  the  house.  At  the  monthly  meeting  held  second  month, 
2nd,  1828,  M.  Kelly  and  J.  Siler  were  appointed  to  receive  and  report  accounts 
of  sufferings  to  the  meeting.  The  sufferings  alluded  to  were  such  as  origi- 
nated from  fines  collected  by  law  from  members  in  indigent  circumstances  for 
non-conformity  to  the  military  laws  of  the  state,  which  at  that  time,  and  for 
several  years  afterwards,  required  every  able  bodied  man  between  the  ages  of 
eighteen  and  fort3'-fiye  to  muster  at  stated  periods,  or  on  the  call  of  the  proper 
offices,  failure  to  respond  being  punished  1iy  fine.  Friends,  to  be  consistent 
with  their  well-known  peace  proclivities,  refused  to  pay.  or  directly  or  in- 
directly to  give  up  property,  hence  they  were  made  more  or  less  annoyance, 
and  sometimes  distressed,  by  the  loss  of  indispensable  articles  which  poorer 
members  could  not  of  themselves  replace.  This  being  brought  to  the  notice 
of  the  yearly  meeting,  it,  true  to  its  principles,  came  to  the  relief  of  the  dis- 
tressed, and  itself  bore  the  burdens ;  and  the  more  successfully  to  accomplish 
this  it  required  each  monthly  meeting  to  appoint  a  committee  to  take  cogni- 
zance of  all  cases  of  distress  within  their  respective  limits,  and  report,  when 
they  were  forwarded  to  the  meeting  for  sufferings,  which  furnished  the  proper 

"Another  source  of  trouble  which  the  early  Friends  had  to  contend  was 
with  the  difference  of  opinion  on  a  doctrinal  phase  denominated  Hicksism, 
which  resulted  in  a  wide-spread  and  damaging  separation  under  the  leadership 
of  Elias  Hicks.     On  the   peculiar  doctrine  set   forth  liv  this  new   sect,   an 


article  by  Prof.  B.  C.  Hobbs,  of  Bloomingdale,  is  ver)-  explicit  and  reads  as 
follows : 


"Sixty  years  ago  the  New  Testament  was  common  as  a  school  book,  but 
a  complete  copy  of  the  Bible  was  not  often  found  in  the  family  of  Friends. 
When  read  it  was  not  expected  to  be  explained,  except  by  ministers,  and  as  a 
consequence  there  was  a  great  indefiniteness  in  the  religious  opinions  of  too 
many  on  doctrinal  subjects. 

"They  accepted  the  opinions  of  those  in  whom  they  had  confidence  when 
they  were  positively  asserted  and  capable  and  plausible  men  had  great  in- 
fluence in  society. 

"The  Society  of  Friends  at  this  time  was  distinguished,  as  it  ever  has 
been,  for  benevolence,  temperance  and  the  social  virtues.  They  were  practi- 
cal Christians.  This  lack  of  establishment  in  Christian  faith  rendered  the 
hearts  of  too  many  a  favorable  soil  for  the  seeds  of  heresy  to  take  root  and 
bring  forth  evil. 

"About  the  years  1818  to  1825-8  Elias  Hicks,  a  man  who  embraced 
in  his  character  the  appearance,  language  and  manners  of  the  straightest  of 
his  sect,  and  was  most  .sympathetic  and  benevolent  toward  the  poor,  the 
afflicted  and  the  oppressed,  was  known  to  advance  sentiments  which  under- 
valued the  mediatorial  offices  and  atoning  merits  of  Christ.  He  often  spoke 
of  Him  as  only  a  good  man.  That  the  Holy  Spirit  was  in  Him  as  it  is  in 
us :  that  His  death  and  sufferings  on  Calvary  were  of  no  value  to  us,  only  as 
an  example  in  a  devoted  life ;  that  His  blood  was  only  a  metaphor,  meaning 
His  life  or  the  life  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  He  denied  the  existence  of  a  devil 
or  an  evil  agent  apart  from  man's  passions  and  taught  that  we  are  all  by 
nature  like  Adam  in  the  creation  and  fall.  That  the  account  in  Genesis  of 
the  creation,  the  fall  of  our  first  parents  and  the  Garden  of  Eden,  were 
figurative  and  unreal ;  that  we  must  be  saved  alone  by  the  Holy  Spirit  in  us : 
and  that  the  Scriptures  were  not  all  inspired ;  such  as  were  written  by  the  in- 
spiration of  God  are  to  be  believed;  such  as  were  not,  are  of  no  more  binding 
authority  than  other    books :  and  that  each  must  judge  for  himself. 

"His  plausible  and  winning  manners  and  persuasive  eloquence  led  many 
imsuspecting  men  and  women  astray.  Many  saw  the  error  of  his  teaching 
from  the  beginning  and  gave  timely  warning.  Some  took  one  side  and  some 
the  other.  The  controversy  waxed  earnest  and  culminated  in  a  separation  in 
1828,  in  several  yearly  meetings  in  America,  beginning  in  New  York  and 
ending  in  Indiana.     Meetings,  families  and  friends  were  divided.     Wounds 


were  made,  never  to  be  healed.  Some  were  led  on  in  the  separation  by  their 
love  of  a  libertine  faith,  while  others  were  influenced  by  the  strong  ties  of 
friendship  and  social  relations. 

"There  are  some  still  living  who  can  remember  the  work  of  the  dark 
angel.     Such  recur  to  it  with  sad  hearts. 

"The  effects  of  this  separation  were,  however,  not  without  some  good. 
It  stirred  up  the  whole  society  to  an  earnest  searching  for  the  faith  once 
delivered  to  the  saints  and  from  that  day  to  this  the  Society  of  Friends  have 
held  a  sound  faith,  in  the  doctrines  of  redemption  by  the  blood  of  the  Lord 
Jesus,  and  by  the  Spirit  of  our  God. 

"Although  the  date  of  the  beginning  of  this  trouble,  in  the  United  States, 
was  some  years  prior  to  the  settlement  of  Friends  here,  yet  its  first  appearance 
in  this  part  of  Indiana  was  not  until  1828.  A  paper  was  prepared  that  year 
by  the  Indiana  yearly  meeting,  directed  to  each  monthly  meeting,  on  this 
subject,  in  which,  among  other  things,  the  doctrine  of  Friends  was  clearly 
and  fully  set  forth.  The  paper  was  read  at  Bloomfield  monthly  meeting 
third  month,  ist,  1828,  which  endorsed  it  and  took  action  confirming  its 
acceptance  by  an  order  that  it  be  spread  upon  the  record,  and  by  the  appoint- 
ment of  a  standing  committee  to  look  after  certain  spurious  books  and 
pamphlets  purporting  to  contain  the  doctrine  of  Friends  which  were  being 
circulated.  It  is  a  fact  worthy  of  note  that  while  alm.ost  every  section  of  the 
country,  from  Canada  to  Virginia  and  from  Vermont  to  Illinois,  was  con- 
vulsed with  the  elements  of  Hicksism,  within  the  limits  of  Parke  county 
proper  there  was  scarcely  a  ripple.  In  the  monthly  meeting  held  the  fifth 
month,  2nd,  1829,  the  representatives  of  the  quarterly  meeting  produced  three 
copies  of  Evans'  Exposition  and  a  Testament  as  a  donation  from  Philadel- 
phia yearly  meeting,  and  other  books  having  accumulated  which  were  intended 
for  the  use  of  the  members,  a  committee  was  appointed  to  establish  a  library 
and  appoint  a  librarian,  they  recommending  William  Pickard  for  the  position. 
Rules  were  afterward  adopted  for  the  government  of  the  library  and  at 
various  times  valuable  additions  had  been  made  to  it,  by  purchase  and 
donation,  among  others  being  a  present  of  several  important  works  and 
pamphlets  from  England  and  Philadelphia,  consisting  of  a  hundred  and 
forty  volumes  and  fifteen  volumes  purchased  by  the  librarian,  Philip  Siler. 

"The  establishment  of  White  Lick  quarterly  meeting  was  made  on  the 
third  to  seventh  day  in  second  month,  1831.  White  Lick,  Fairfield,  Bloom- 
field  and  Vermillion  monthly  meeting  joining  in  the  request. 

"The  first  proposition  for  the  establishment  of  the  Western  quarterly 
meeting  came  from  the  Sugar  River  monthly  meeting  third  month,  5th,  1834. 


A  committee  of  the  abo\e  mentioned  and  Bloomfield  meetings  was  appointed 
and  met  at  the  latter  place  on  8th  of  fourth  month,  1834,  which  agreed  to 
ask  for  a  meeting  to  be  known  as  the  Western  quarterly  meeting  and  that  its 
assemblies  take  place  on  the  second  to  seventh  day,  in  the  second,  fifth,  eight 
and  eleventh  months.  The  report  was  adopted  by  the  yearly  meeting  which 
answered  the  request  of  the  committee,  by  establishing  it  as  required  on  the 
second  to  se\-enth  day,  of  second  month,  1836,  nearly  two  years  after  the 
proposition  was  first  made. 

"The  first  meeting  held  in  the  quarterly  meeting  house,  built  by  Reuben 
Holden,  in  1834,  was  on  the  8th  day  of  sixth  month,  of  that  year,  only  one 
end  of  the  building  being  completed.  At  this  meeting.  Exam  Outland, 
Stephen  Kersey,  Jesse  Hobson  and  Lot  Lindley  were  appointed  as  the  first 
representati\es  of  the  ^^'estern  quarterly  meeting." 

Union  church  \\as  instituted  by  the  Society  of  Friends,  but  the  meetings 
were  entirely  undenominational.  .\.  church  thirty-five  by  forty  feet  was 
built  in  1875,  at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  dollars.  On  Christmas  night  the 
same  was  dedicated.     Levi  ^^'oody  was  the  first  preacher  in  charge. 

What  was  known  as  the  Christian  Union  church,  on  the  Rockville  and 
Mecca  road,  two  miles  from  the  former  place,  had  at  one  date  a  membership 
of  eighty,  but  by  removals  and  death  the  society  went  down.  A  neat  chapel 
;vas  erected,  costing  eight  hundred  dollars.  Rev.  William  Halt  was  the  first 
to  preach  their  regularly,  and  following  him  came  Revs.  Myers,  Jacob  ^^'right, 
Boer  and  Nathan  Wright. 


This  denomination  has  ne\'er  flourished  to  any  great  extent  in  Parke 
county.  In  Sugar  Creek  township,  in  1859,  there  was  a  society  of  this  sect 
who  built  a  church  which  was  dedicated  on  Christmas  night  of  that  year,  by 
Rev.  T.  C.  Eaton.  The  building  was  thirty  by  forty  feet  in  size  and  was 
erected  on  land  owned  by  a  Mr.  Pickard.  By  1880,  the  society  had  virtually 
gone  down  and  the  building  was  no  longer  used  for  church  purposes.  There 
have  been  several  other  attempts  to  maintain  such  churches,  but  all  to  no 
avail,  the  sentiment  in  favor  of  universal  salvation  not  being  strong  enough 
in  this  locality. 



Freemasonry  was  first  introduced  into  Parke  county  in  1844  by  a  dis- 
pensation to  organize  Rockville  Lodge  of  F.  &  A.  M.  on  May  30th  of  that 
year.  The  first  meeting  was  held  June  25th,  when  the  following  brethren 
attended :  Charles  Grant,  Jeptha  Garrigus,  Caleb  Williams,  Randolph  H. 
Wedding,  Vetal  W.  Coffin,  Albert  G.  Coffin,  David  L.  Hamilton.  Henr}- 
Slaven  and  Joseph  B.  Cornelius.  The  officers  installed  were  Peter  O.  Stryker, 
worshipful  master;  John  Briggs,  senior  warden;  Seba  S.  Case,  junior  warden; 
Joseph  B.  Cornelius,  secretary;  Charles  Grant,  treasurer;  Randolph  H.  Wed- 
ding, senior  deacon,  Albert  G.  Coffin,  junior  deacon;  D.  L.  Hamilton,  stew- 
ard and  tyler.  Joseph  C.  Smith,  Aaron  Griffin  and  John  R.  Ten  Brook  were 
the  first  persons  elected  to  take  degrees  in  this  order.  The  grand  lodge  of 
Indiana  granted  a  charter  May  29,  1845,  and  at  this  time  the  name  of  the 
lodge  was  changed  to  Parke  Lodge,  which  it  is  still  known  as.  In  1880  this 
lodge  had  a  membership  of  forty-nine,  and  it  has  always  been  in  a  prosperous 
condition.  The  laying  of  the  corner-stone  of  the  new  court  house  in  the 
month  of  September,  1879,  was  under  the  auspices  of  this  lodge  and  was  a 
notable  event  in  the  history  of  the  order,  as  well  as  of  the  county  government. 
The  ceremony  took  place  in  the  presence  of  a  fair-sized  audience  of  citizens 
and  the  lodges  from  Terre  Haute  and  Judson  and  delegations  of  the  fraternity 
from  Annapolis,  Bellemore,  Mansfield,  Roseville,  Harveysburg  and  other 
places,  and  was  performed  by  Most  Worshipful  Grand  Master  Robert  Van 
Valzah,  assisted  by  a  full  corps  of  Masonic  officials.  At  the  conclusion  of  the 
ceremonies  Dr.  Harrison  J.  Rice,  a  member  of  Parke  Lodge,  delivered  an 
historical  address  of  great  interest  and  highly  befitting  the  occasion.  In  the 
casket  deposited  in  the  stone  was  placed  a  copy  of  the  oration,  and  of  the 
charter  of  the  lodge,  with  many  other  articles  which  it  is  expected  will  be 
of  curious  interest  to  the  citizens  of  Rockville  and  Parke  county  centuries  to 
come,  perhaps. 

Parke  Lodge  now  (1912)  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  twenty- 
three.  It  meets  in  the  Masonic  hall,  owned  by  the  fraternity,  purchased  in 
1909,  and  which  is  large  and  complete  in  all  of  its  appointments.  The  present 


ofificers  are:  W.  B.  Collings,  worshipful  master;  Jacob  S.  White,  senior  war- 
den; George  L.  Laney,  junior  warden;  William  Hobson,  senior  deacon;  Ollie 
Decker,  junior  deacon;  M.  W.  Marshall,  secretary;  W.  H.  Hargrave,  treas- 
urer; tyler,  W.  J.  Gaebler. 

Parke  Chapter  No.  37,  Royal  Arch  Masons,  was  secured  by  an  applica- 
tion for  dispensation  July  11,  1856.  At  a  convocation  held  on  that  day  by 
Royal  Arch  Masons  there  were  present  Addison  L.  Roach,  M.  G.  Wilkison, 
John  T.  Price,  H.  Alvord,  P.  O.  Stryker  and  L.  A.  Foote  and  an  organiza- 
tion was  made  by  appointing  Roach  to  the  chair  and  Foote  as  secretary.  A 
committee  appointed  to  procure  a  dispensation  reported  October  7th,  in  which 
it  was  made  known  that  a  dispensation  had  been  obtained  from  William 
Hacker,  most  excellent  high  priest  of  Indiana.  The  meeting  organized  with 
William  Hacker,  grand  high  priest,  presiding;  S.  F.  Maxwell,  king;  P.  Q. 
Stryker,  scribe;  — —  Sayer,  captain  of  the  host;  L.  A.  Foote,  principal 
sojourner;  J.  S.  Dare,  ro_yal  arch  captain;  H.  Alvord,  master  of  the  third 
veil;  John  T.  Price,  master  of  the  second  veil;  M.  G.  Wilkison,  master  of  the 
first  veil.  A  charter  was  issued  by  the  ofificers  of  the  grand  chapter  of  In- 
diana, May  21,  1857.  At  that  date  the  membership  was  twenty-one.  The 
present  membership  is  fifty-nine.  This  is  the  only  chapter  of  Royal  Arch 
Masons  in  Parke  county. 

Annapolis  Lodge  No.  127,  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  was  char- 
tered May  26,  1852,  and  in  the  year  of  Masonry  5852.  The  first  ofificers 
and  charter  members  were :  John  M.  Wadding,  worshipful  master ;  Edward 
D.  Laughlin,  senior  warden;  James  W.  Tucker,  junior  .warden;  John  D. 
Gififord,  secretary;  John  S.  Dare,  Simon  Vestal,  John  Kelly,  L.  B.  Dunigan, 
C.  N.  Harding,  David  Best,  William  Sweeney,  R.  A.  Coffin. 

Bridgeton  Lodge  No.  169,  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  was  or- 
ganized in  1854.  The  petitioners  for  the  dispensation  were  M.  G.  Wilkinson, 
Mahlon  Wilkinson,  R.  C.  Allen,  N.  B.  Smook,  John  Briggs,  Jr.,  James  A. 
Cole  and  Jeptha  Garrigus,  all  but  the  last  named  being  members  of  Parke 
Lodge  No.  8.  The  petition  was  granted  with  the  title  of  Whitcomb  Lodge. 
M.  G.  Wilkinson  was  the  first  master,  and  Mahlon  Wilkinson  and  R.  C.  Allen 
were  wardens.  A  charter  was  issued  May  30,  1855,  and  the  title  of  Bridge- 
ton  No.  169  was  given.  The  meetings  were  held  in  the  second  story  of  R.  C. 
Allen's  wagon  shop  for  eight  years,  when,  in  1863,  the  limited  room  and  in- 
creased membership  made  it  necessarj'  to  provide  other  quarters,  and  the  lodge 
was  removed  to  the  upper  story  of  Dr.  Crook's  drug  store.  In  1868  the  store 
and  contents  were  burned,  including  the  lodge  room,  library  and  other  valua- 


bles.     The  Crook  store  was  rebuilt  and  a  lodge  room  built  especially  was 
added  to  the  structure.     The  lodge  then  flourished  as  never  before. 

At  Waterman,  in  the  extreme  northwest  part  of  Parke  county,  Lodiville 
Lodge  No.  172,  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  was  chartered  in  May, 
1855,  the  first  officers  and  charter  members  being:  J.  M.  T.  Bright,  worship- 
ful master;  N.  Thomas,  senior  warden;  A.  R.  Hood,  junior  warden;  Samuel 
Richmond,  secretary;  Isaac  Carman,  Andrew  Baker,  D.  G.  Ephlin. 

Montezuma  Lodge  No.  89,  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  was 
chartered  May  28,  1861,  its  first  officers  and  charter  members  being:  R.  M. 
Gilkinson,  worshipful  master;  Firman  Allen,  senior  warden;  Jacob  Myers, 
junior  warden;  George  Kretz,  treasurer;  Thomas  Griffith,  secretary;  David 
Phillips,  senior  deacon ;  William  Mcintosh,  junior  deacon. 

In  the  autumn  of  1912  the  officers  of  this  lodge  were:  R.  W.  Johnson, 
worshipful  master;  C.  S.  Overman,  senior  warden;  R.  W.  Sutton,  junior 
warden ;  T.  A.  Welshnans,  treasurer ;  W.  P.  Montgomery,  secretary ;  Samuel 
J.  Holmes,  Frank  Arn  and  T.  A.  Welshnans,  trustees.  The  membership  is 
now  se\'enty-four,  and  the  hall  is  \  alued  at  three  thousand  dollars ;  it  was 
erected  in  1902. 

Catlin  Lodge  No.  402,  Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  was  char- 
tered May  25,  1869,  with  a  membership  of  sixteen.  The  charter  members 
were :  S.  T.  Catlin,  Thomas  Harshman,  Marshall  Gray,  A.  S.  Alden,  Thomas 
Akers,  John  Pence,  Asal  Riggs,  John  Lollis,  S.  R.  Beal,  Price  Hawkins,  Ira 
Jones,  John  Thomas,  Harvey  Gray,  Uriah  E.  Thomas,  J.  W.  Puett  and  Dr. 
George  M.  Knight.    The  lodge  met  for  many  years  in  the  Ray  hall. 

In  Union  township  the  first  fraternal  society  formed  was  that  of  the 
Masonic  order.  An  informal  meeting  was  held  at  the  store  of  James  Brack- 
enridge,  November  7,  1874,  for  the  purpose  of  considering  the  expediency  of 
organizing  a  Masonic  lodge,  and  on  December  26,  1874,  thirteen  members 
met  for  this  object.  J.  M.  Jerome  was  elected  worshipful  master;  A.  B. 
Collings,  senior  warden ;  James  Brackenridge,  junior  warden ;  W.  P.  Blake, 
treasurer;  J.  D.  Wright,  secretary;  W.  Jerome,  senior  deacon;  P.  L.  Reid, 
junior  deacon;  Albert  Beach,  tyler. 

Lena  Lodge  was  organized  September  29,  1874,  in  Murph's  hall,  in  the 
town  of  Lena,  Jackson  township,  with  a  membership  of  eight.  The  officers 
elected  were :  Wellington  Peach,  worshipful  master ;  James  Smook,  senior 
warden;  Levi  Woodrum,  junior  warden;  John  A.  Welch,  secretary;  Jacob 
Plummer,  treasurer;  M.  R.  Plummer,  senior  deacon;  Mathew  G.  Ouin,  junior 
deacon;  Jesse  Williams,  tyler.  A  charter  was  granted  May  22,  1877,  in  the 


meantime  the  lodge  working  under  dispensation.     Up  to  1880  no  death  had 
occurred  within  the  circle  of  the  membership. 


In  1912  the  following  Masonic  lodges  existed  within  Parke  county: 
Parke  Lodge  No.  8.  with  one  hundred  and  twenty-three  members;  Monte- 
zuma No.  89,  with  seventy-four  members;  Anrtapolis  No.  127,  with  sixty- four 
members;  Bridgeton  No.  169,  with  one  hundred  and  twenty-three  members; 
Lodiville  (Silverwood)  No.  172,  with  forty-six  members ;  Rosedale  No.  259, 
with  eighty-two  members;  Catlin  No.  402,  with  fifty-eight  members;  Judson 
No.  518,  with  fifty  members;  Sylvania  No.  559,  with  sixty  members. 


The  oldest  Odd  Fellows  lodge  in  Parke  county  is  the  one  instituted  at 
kock\ille,  November  9,  1849.  knt)wn  as  Howard  Lodge  No.  71.  by  Taylor 
W.  Webster,  district  deputy  grand  master,  of  Ladoga,  assisted  by  Joshua 
Ridge,  Samuel  Noel,  ^Villiam  Kromer,  Samuel  Stover,  James  Houston  and 
William  Detrick.  It  was  named  in  honor  of  John  Howard,  the  eminent 
philanthropist  of  England.  The  charter  members  were  F.  W.  Dinwiddle, 
Joseph  Phillips,  Charles  ^^^  Stryker,  Samuel  A.  Fisher  and  William  McClure. 
The  charter  bears  the  date  of  January  10,  1850.  and  among  other  eminent 
names  affixed  to  it  was  that  of  Hon.  Schuyler  Colfax,  a  past  grand  in  the  order. 
This  lodge  was  organized  in  the  Masonic  hall  at  the  court  house.  The  first 
real  Odd  bellows  ball  was  a  two-story  building,  which  stood  many  years  and 
was  finally  used  as  a  l.ilacksmitb  shop.  The  kidi^e  started  out  with  six  work- 
ing members,  and  struggled  with  but  tew  additions  for  a  few  years,  when  it 
took  a  start  and  grew  rapidly  until  the  war  between  the  states  broke  out, 
when  many  of  the  members  enlisted  in  the  Union  cause.  At  the  close  of  that 
deadly  struggle  the  lodge  again  took  on  new  life  and  prospered.  After  1876 
the  lodge  built  a  three-story  building  on  the  north  side  of  the  public  square, 
at  a  cost  of  five  thousand  dollars,  and  on  the  third  floor  of  which  structure 
was  built  their  lodge  room,  a  spacious,  well-furnished  hall. 

Rockville  Encampment  No.  95,  Patriarchs  Militant,  was  instituted  No- 
vember 9.  1849.  Its  charter  bears  the  names  of  W.  C.  Lumpton,  grand  pat- 
riarch, and  E.  H.  Barry,  grand  scribe.  The  twenty-fifth  anniversary  of  the 
chartering  of  this  lodge  was  commemorated  by  a  grand  banquet,  November 
9,   1874.     0\er  nine  hundred  were  furnished  a  sum]:)tuous  dinner,  gotten  up 


by  the  ladies  of  the  old  National  Hall.  Hon.  Schuyler  Colfax  delivered  the 
address  in  an  able  and  truly  eloquent  manner. 

Reserve  Lodge  No.  102,  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows,  was  in- 
stituted November  10,  1851,  at  Montezuma,  the  charter  members  being 
Samuel  A.  Fisher,  John  W.  Wade,  James  Jacobs,  George  H.  Ribble,  Samuel 
D.  Hill  and  George  W.  Thompson. 

Annapolis  Lodge  No.  431  was  chartered,  or  rather  organized,  January 
7,  1874,  with  the  following  as  charter  members  and  first  officers :  J.  D.  Con- 
nely,  noble  grand;  R.  W.  H.  McKey,  vice-grand;  Wyatt  Morgan,  treasurer; 
John  J.  Garrigus,  secretary;  Miles  Ratcliffe,  warden;  William  and  Samuel 

Parke  Lodge  No.  498  was  instituted  August  26,  1874,  by  John  T.  San- 
ders, of  Indianapolis.  The  charter  bears  the  date  of  November  18,  1875.  The 
first  officers  and  members  were :  John  J.  Garrigus,  noble  grand ;  R.  H.  W. 
McKey,  vice-grand;  W.  R.  Cooper,  secretary;  Wyatt  Morgan,  treasurer;  John 
P.  Lungren,  Miles  Ratcliffe,  Samuel  Brooks  and  William  Brooks.  It  was 
written  of  this  lodge  in  1880 :  "It  is  one  of  the  brightest  lodges  in  the  county, 
the  spirit  of  friendship  obtaining  universally  among  the  membership." 

Union  Lodge  No.  198,  Daughters  of  Rebekah,  also  met  within  the  lodge 
room  of  the  last  named  lodge  and  in  1879  was  the  only  lodge  of  its  kind  in 
Parke  county.  It  was  fonned  in  z^ugust,  1879,  by  the  following  members: 
Dr.  McKey,  W.  R.  Cooper,  Jennie  Cooper,  W.  P.  Floyd,  Elizabeth  Floyd, 
Thomas  Clark,  Anjennetta  Clark,  Miles  Ratcliffe,  E.  J.  Ratcliffe,  S.  Harlan, 
Mary  Harlan.  J.  C.  Hershbrunner.  L.  \\'.  Banton  and  Angelina  Banton. 


The  following  is  a  list  of  the  Odd  Fellows  lodges  within  Parke  county 
in  existence  in  1912: 

Reserve  Lodge  No.  102,  Montezuma,  has  a  membership  of  seventy-six, 
and  owns  a  fine  hall,  erected  in  igoo  at  a  cost  of  six  thousand  dollars,  which 
is  all  paid  for.  The  present  officers  are:  Charles  Machletd,  noble  grand; 
Perry  Jarrod,  vice-grand;  John  G.  Lowry,  secretary;  Roy  Aikman,  treasurer: 
John  Machledt,  Oliver  Whitson  and  \^'illiam  Whitson,  trustees. 

Howard  Lodge  No.  71.  Rockville,  two  hundred  and  seventy-six  members. 

Bloomingdale  Lodge  No.  431  has  fifty-five  mmebers. 

Parke  Lodge  No.  498  has  twenty  members. 

Tangier  Lodge  No.  632  has  seventeen  members. 

Rosedale  Lodge  No.  698  has  one  hundred  and  thirty-eight  members. 


Prosperity  Lodge  has  one  hundred  and  eleven  members. 

Mecca  Lodge  No.  755  has  one  hundred  and  three  members. 

Bridgeton  Lodge  No.  815  has  forty-two  members. 

This  makes  a  grand  total  in  the  county  of  nine  hundred  and  seventeen. 


At  Marshall,  Union  Lodge  has  seven  members. 
At  Bloomingdale,  Pearl  Lodge  No.  226  has  thirty-five  members. 
At  Rockville,  Shining  Light  Lodge  has  one  hundred  and  eighty-four. 
At  Rosedale,  Mary  Lodge  No.  431  has  one  hundred  and  two. 
At  Montezuma,  Wabash  Lodge  No.  498  has  seventy-two. 
At  Bridgeton,  Mayview  Lodge  No.  689  has  seventy -five. 
This  makes  a  grand  total  in  the  county  of  four  hundred  and  seventy-five. 
The  only  encampments  of  the  fraternity  in  Parke  county  are  those  at 
Rockville  and  Rosedale,  both  flourishing  in  the  autumn  of  1912. 


This,  one  of  the  more  modern  civic  societies,  has  a  good  following  in 
Parke  county.  The  first  lodge  of  this  order,  Silliman  Lodge  No.  66,  was  in- 
stituted September  8,  1875,  by  District  Deputy  Grand  Chancellor  Albert 
Dickey,  of  Crawfordsville,  assisted  by  the  members  of  DeBayard  Lodge  No. 
39,  of  the  same  place.  The  charter  was  granted  January  25,  1876,  by  C.  T. 
Tuly,  grand  chancellor  of  the  grand  lodge  of  Indiana,  and  the  charter  mem- 
bers were  as  follows :  William  R.  Fry,  M.  J.  Cochran,  William  P.  Strain,  Z. 
Byers,  W.  N.  McCampbell,  O.  J.  Innis,  T.  H.  Holmes,  J.  Wise,  J.  S.  Hun- 
nell,  William  H.  Gillum,  George  B.  Chapman,  J.  B.  Connelly,  J.  E.  Woodard, 
J.  D.  Carlisle,  William  Rembolz,  R.  Christian,  Charles  H.  Bigwood,  David 
A.  Roach,  E.  A.  Matson,  S.  C.  Puett,  William  D.  Sill,  F.  M.  Hall,  S.  D. 
Puett,  A.  J.  East  and  John  B.  Dowd.  In  1880  this  lodge  had  a  membership 
of  one  hundred  and  seven,  and  was  reported  in  an  excellent  condition,  finan- 
cially and  fraternally.  Meetings  were  held  every  Wednesday  night  in  Castle 
Hall,  in  the  third  floor  of  Shackleford's  block,  on  the  north  side  of  the  square 
at  Rockville.  Now  the  hall  is  in  the  Whipple  block;  number  of  members, 
one  hundred  and  seventy. 



In  1912  the  following  points  sustained  Knights  of  Pythias  lodges:  Rock- 
ville,  Silliman  Lodge  No.  66,  with  one  hundred  and  seventy  members;  Rose- 
dale  Lodge  No.  224,  with  one  hundred  and  eighteen  members ;  Mecca  Lodge 
No.  488,  with  one  hundred  and  four  members:  Montezuma  Lodge  No.  264, 
with  eighty-seven  members;  Tangier,  Philemon  Lodge  No.  399.  with  forty- 
seven  members;  Bloomingdale,  Penn  Lodge  No.  87,  with  thirty-six  members; 
Marshall  Lodge  No.  133,  with  twenty-eight  members;  Bellemore  Lodge  No. 
649.  with  sixty-one  members:  Acme  Lodge  No.  98,  at  Silverwood,  with 
membership  of  fifty-three:  Bridgeton  Lodge  No.  435,  with  a  membership  of 
one  hundred  and  forty-eight;  Caseyville  Lodge  No.  465,  at  Diamond,  with  a 
membership  of  ninety-two. 

The  Rockville  lodge  is  the  mother  of  all  the  others  in  Parke  county.  Its 
officers,  according  to  the  last  obtainable  report,  that  of  the  grand  lodge  of 
1912,  gives  the  officers  as  follows:  C.  E.  Burnett,  chancellor  commander; 
Frank  Shaw,  vice-commander;  Fred  Burnett,  prelate:  Early  M.  Dowd,  keeper 
of  records  and  seal;  John  H.  Spencer,  master  of  finance;  A.  T.  Brockway, 
master  of  exchequer:  Sherman  Call,  inner  guard;  S.  J.  Skelton,  outer  guard. 

At  Montezuma,  Lodge  No.  264  was  organized  Jnne  2,  1891,  and  now 
has  a  membership  of  eighty.  The  present  elective  members  are  :  J.  L.  Wliite, 
chancellor  commander:  A.  Scribbling,  vice-commander:  William  Skeeter, 
prelate ;  William  Burgess,  master  of  wampum ;  A.  L.  Jerome,  keeper  of  records 
and  seal;  John  G.  Lowry,  master  of  exchequer;  John  C.  Hamilton,  master  of 
finance:  John  Morgan,  master  of  arms;  William  Norris,  outer  guard;  A.  M. 
Kay,  inner  guard ;  Frank  Wilson,  N.  S.  Wheeler,  John  L.  ^^'hite.  trustees. 
The  order  owns  a  hall  valued  at  two  thousand  five  hundred  dollars.  A  few 
of  this  lodge  belong  to  the  Uniform  Rank  degree. 


The  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic,  the  great  Civil  war  and  Union  soldier 
fraternity,  was  early  in  the  field  in  Parke  county,  and  at  one  time  there  were 
numerous  posts  organized  in  the  county,  but  with  the  death  of  so  many  of 
the  loyal  "boys  in  blue,"  of  late  years,  many  posts  have  been  compelled  to 
surrender  their  charter.  There  are  still  a  few  posts  in  this  county,  including 
the  first  organized,  that  at  Rockville,  and  a  few  more.  The  total  member- 
ship is  now  quite  small.    The  sight  of  the  once  numerous  copper  buttons  and 


post  badges  of  the  country  is  year  by  year  growing  sadly  less,  and  ere  long 
one  will  look  upon  these  badges  of  honor  as  our  grandfathers  used  to  the 
relics  of  the  old  Revolutionary  soldiers. 

The  names  and  numbers  of  the  posts  in  this  county  in  the  fall  of  1912 
were  as  follows,  with  the  names  of  the  commanders :  Steele  Post  No.  9, 
Rockville,  with  fifty  membership;  D.  H.  Strange,  commander.  Floyd  Post 
No.  10,  at  Annapolis;  J.  R.  Tucker,  commander.  Scott  Post  No.  305,  at 
Portland  Mills;  Irvin  Thomas,  commander.  Hobson  Post  No.  29,  at  Mar- 
shall; Stephen  Beeson,  commander.  Altoona  Post  No.  407,  at  Waterman; 
George  W.  Knaver,  commander.  Kelly  Post  No.  572,  Bridgeton ;  J.  H.  Kerr, 



The  art  and  profession  of  newspaper-making  first  got  a  foothold  in 
Parke  county  in  1829,  as  appears  from  the  earhest  files  of  which  the  author 
has  any  access  or  knowledge.  This  was  in  the  establishment  of  the  Wabash 
Herald,  started  in  1829.  It  was  in  the  early  months  of  1828,  when  this  county 
had  a  population  of  less  than  two  hundred  souls,  that  its  populace  began  to 
agitate  the  question  of  securing  a  local  paper,  having  become  tired  of  de- 
pending upon  those  printed  at  Terre  Haute.  So  by  the  circulation  of  a  sub- 
scription paper  the  Herald  was  founded,  and  its  editor  was  a  Mr.  Clarke, 
from  Ohio.  It  was  a  mild-tempered  Jackson  political  organ,  but  paid  more 
attention  to  local  news  than  to  shaping  political  opinion.  John  Marts  pur- 
chased the  office  soon  after,  and  he  entered  into  a  "starvation  career."  That 
was  a  day  of  red-hot  campaigns  and  no  neutral  paper  had  any  showing  in 
the  minds  of  the  determined  and  positive  first  settlers  in  these  parts.  Marts 
sold  to  William  T.  Noel,  who  at  once  changed  the  name  to  that  of  the  Rock- 
inlle  Intelligencer  and  converted  it  into  a  radical  Whig  organ.  Noel  set  out 
to  build  up  the  Whig  party  in  Parke  county  and  really  did  accomplish  much 
in  this  direction.  Later  he  sold  to  Comingore,  who  was  followed  by  Mr. 
Snyder,  and  in  turn  he  was  succeeded  by  Col.  Henry  Slavens,  who  changed 
its  name  to  the  Olive  Branch,  which,  however,  was  anything  but  a  peaceful 
organ,  but  on  the  contrary,  was  always  in  "deep  mud  and  hot  water.""  This 
caused  the  few  issues  of  a  paper  known  as  the  Whig  Rifle,  but  the  original 
paper  was  counted  the  real  party  organ  of  the  Whigs  for  many  years.  It 
finally  became  so  personal  that  the  Democratic  leaders  started  a  paper  to 
further  their  end  in  the  county.  It  only  ran  for  a  short  time  and  the  oldest 
present  inhabitant  knows  not  its  name  or  date  of  its  publication,  simply  the 
tradition  handed  down  that  such  a  paper  once  existed  here,  for  no  copies  can 
be  found  to  tell  the  birth  and  death  of  the  paper. 

It  was  not  far  from  1842  when  Matthew  Simpson  bought  the  Whig 
paper,  the  Olive  Branch,  and  conducted  the  same  many  years,  after  a  very 
creditable  fashion  for  those  early  days,  when  all  matter  had  to  be  set  up 
by  hand  and  when  pure   rag  paper  obtained,  instead  of  the  rotten,  almost 


worthless,  present-day  print  paper.  The  paper  was  run  off  on  a  hand-press 
and  its  circulation  was  none  the  largest,  but  the  price  was  from  two  to  three 
dollars  per  annum,  cash  in  advance  (sometimes),  and  when  not  so  paid  itie 
rate  was  much  higher,  and  the  rule  generally  lived  up  to.  Then  there  were 
no  "patent  insides,"  or  cheap  plates,  with  love  stor}'  attachments,  to  the  pub- 
lication, sent  by  express  at  so  much  per  inch  or  pound.  Editorials  were  then' 
all  original,  no  borrowed  type  or  plates.  Even  the  "patent  medicine"  notices 
all  had  to  be  set  up  at  home,  yet  they  told  of  as  many  cure-alls  as  those  of 
today,  and  cured  as  many  (  ?)  then  as  now.  One  specialty  was  the  full-text  of 
long-winded  speeches  made  in  Congress,  covering  page  upon  page  of  fine 
type,  and  often  continued  to  other  issues  of  the  paper.  Also  the  long  editor- 
ials explaining  the  position  taken  In'  the  Congressmen,  etc.  The  foreign  news 
had  to  come  by  sailing  vessel  and  steamer  for  years,  until,  in  the  fifties,  when 
the  submarine  cable  brought  European  news,  which,  after  its  long  route  from 
New  ^'ork  and  Philadelphia,  finally  found  its  way  here  by  stage  or  canal  boat, 
when  it  was  headed  "Latest  News  from  Europe."  Then,  as  even  now,  there 
were  baskets  full  of  poetrj  set  up  annually,  that  was  simply  abominable. 
Finally,  the  name  of  the  paper  was  changed  to  that  of  the  Parke  County 
Whig,  and  so  continued  until  1854,  when  the  son.  Rufus  Simpson,  took  con- 
trol and  named  it  the  True  Republican,  which  with  the  flight  of  years  be- 
came the  Rockiillc  Refnihlican.  In  1880  this  was  published  by  Keeny  & 
Brown,  which  in  reality  is  the  legal  offspring  and  descendant  of  the  original 
Whig  organ  of  this  county. 

In  the  meantime,  the  Democrats  had  several  times  tried  to  sustain  a 
newspaper,  for  political  reasons,  but  had  failed  until  in  1856,  when  E.  Cox 
established  the  Democrat,  which  was  short  lived.  Again  in  1864,  a  traveling 
printer  started  another  Democrat,  but  neither  stood  fire  long  enough  to  be 
counted  in  the  chapter  of  journalism  here.  After  many  years,  the  Monte- 
suma  Era  became  the  leading  Democratic  organ  of  Parke  county,  and  flour- 
ished quite  well;  it  was  still  conducted  in  1881  and  was  noted  for  being  a 
good  family  newspaper  with  Democratic  politics. 

Shortly  after  the  close  of  the  Civil  war,  Dr.  John  S.  Dare,  who  gained 
some  celebrity  as  a  prose  and  verse  writer,  and  who  was  from  North  Caro- 
lina, established  the  Parke  County  Nezvs,  an  independent  paper,  leaning  to- 
ward the  Greenback  doctrine.  It  did  not  pay  and  was  sold  to  George  W. 
Collings,  who  called  his  paper  the  Patriot,  a  Democratic  organ.  He  sold  to 
T.  B.  Cheadle.  who  founded  the  Rockville  Tribune,  an  independent  Republi- 
can paper,  which,  in  March,  1879,  passed  into  the  hands  of  J.  H.  Beadle,  who 


conducted  the  same  until  he  sold  an  interest  to  Isaac  Strouse,  who  in  a  year 
or  so  purchased  the  remainder  of  the  property,  and  has  continued  its  publica- 
tion for  more  than  thirty  years,  making  it  a  stanch  Democratic  organ. 

The  Parke  County  Signal  files  show  that  it  was  established  August  14, 
1880,  at  Rockville,  and  run  for  a  number  of  years,  when  it  was  merged  with 
other  publications  and  quit  as  a  separate  paper.  It  was  radically  Demo- 
cratic, and  had  scathing  editorials,' in  which  the  Republicain  party  was  fre- 
quently "roasted"  and  which  caused  many  heated  newspaper  discussions  and 
animated  retorts,  between  the  editors  of  the  various  party  organs. 

There  have  been  many  other  papers  published  in  the  county  at  an  early 
day,  but  none  of  great  prominence,  down  to  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago. 


In  1912  the  newspapers  of  the  county  are  as  follows : 

The  Tribune,  at  Rockville,  published  by  Isaac  Strouse,  who  has  been  con- 
nected with  the  paper  for  thirty-odd  years,  and  is  now  one  of  the  leading 
Democratic  organs  in  this  section  of  Indiana. 

The  Republican,  at  Rockville,  is  published  and  owned  by  A.  A.  Har- 
grave,  who  has  conducted  a  clean,  newsy,  and  straight  Republican  organ 
here  since  April  4,  1888,  when  he  purchased  it  from  the  company  represented 
by  Brown  Brothers.  This  paper  is  the  continuation  of  the  early-day  Parke 
County  JVhig.  and  later  the  True  Republican.  Earlier  still  its  predecessor 
was  the  Oliz'c  Branch,  published  first  in  about  1842,  by  Matthew  Simpson, 
but  it  had  been  launched  by  the  Whig  element  with  William  T.  Noel  as 
editor,  who  called  the  paper  the  Rockville  Intelligencer.  In  taking  the  Re- 
publican, in  April,  1888,  Mr.  Hargrave  made  this  brief,  modest  announce- 
ment, and  he  has,  during  all  these  years,  lived  up  to  what  he  there  stated : 

"In  assuming  the  control  of  the  Republican  two  objects  are  in  view,  one 
to  make  a  living  out  of  the  business  part  of  the  establishment,  the  other  to  give 
the  people,  and  especially  the  Republicans  of  Parke  county,  a  first-class  Re- 
publican newspaper.  For  these  two  objects  I  will  work  with  might  and  main. 
The  hearty  co-operation  of  all  is  solicited.  Without  this  confidence  and  help 
of  my  readers  and  patrons  this  paper  must  fail.  But  after  all,  the  paper 
must  show  for  itself.  It  is  hoped  no  old  friend  of  the  paper  will  be  lost  and 
that  many  new  ones  will  be  gained. 


"Arthur  A.  Hargrave." 


The  Montezuma  Enterprise,  now  owned  and  conducted  by  C.  S.  Over- 
man, who  has  recently  located  there,  is  an  independent  newspaper,  calculated 
to  upbuild  the  vicinity  in  which  it  circulates,  on  both  sides  of  the  Wabash,  in 
both  Vermillion  and  Parke  counties,  especially  the  latter.  It  succeeds  the  old 
Record,  published  by  A.  B.  Powell.  The  present  rate  of  subscription  is  one 
dollar  and  twenty-five  cents  and  the  Enterprise  is  filled  with  choice,  crisp 
locals,  and  also  carries  a  paying  list  of  home  advertisements,  showing  the 
patrons  appreciate  the  manner  in  which  the  paper  is  being  conducted  by  Mr. 

The  Btoomingdale  World  was  established  in  1880  by  W.  H.  Bright,  and 
is  now  a  six-column  quarto,  subscription  rate  one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents 
per  year.  This  newspaper  has  always  given  more  in  return  for  what  has  been 
paid  in  subscription  and  other  patronage  to  the  office  than  most  papers  have 
done,  being  always  clean,  newsy  and  progressive. 

The  town  of  Rosedale  has  had  numerous  newspapers,  some  of  long  and 
some  of  shorter  duration.  In  searching  out  the  list  the  writer  finds  the  Clipper 
from  1896  to  1898;  the  Southern  Parke  Press,  that  printed  its  last  issue  Sep- 
tember 28,  1888,  C.  E.  Hardick,  editor  and  publisher;  Wentworth  &  Went- 
worth  published  the  Rosedale  Tribune  from  1902  on  for  almost  four  years. 
The  present  Tribune  is  edited  and  owned  by  H.  Clay  Owen;  its  size  is  an 
eight-page  six-column  paper,  and  is  progressive  in  politics. 

The  Neivs  is  a  publication  at  Marshall. 



W'hile  the  recital  of  crimes  long  ago  committed  may  not  appeal  to  every 
reader  as  befitting  a  work  of  the  historic  kind  presented  in  this  volume,  yet 
there  were  certain  crimes — especially  before  the  Civil  war — that  tend  to  throw 
light  on  the  class  of  people  in  these  parts  and  really  are  narratives  of  no  little 
interest  to  possibly  a  respectable  majority  of  the  readers,  hence  will  here  be 

At  least  three  of  these  crimes  were  committed  in  Liberty  township.  At 
an  early  day  William  Slocum,  while  hunting  in  the  woods,  came  upon  a  wild 
cat  dragging  something  from  a  brush  heap.  He  killed  the  cat  and  found  in  its 
claws  a  dead  infant,  apparently  of  recent  birth.  A  girl  named  Smith,  living 
near  by,  was  suspected ;  but  when  an  inquiry  was  begun  she  arose  from  the 
bed,  dressed  in  man's  clothes,  walked  to  the  Wabash,  hailed  a  passing  steamer 
and  departed,  and  that  was  the  last  Liberty  township  ever  heard  of  the  un- 
\\edded  mother. 

Luke  ]\Iead,  of  Liberty  township,  was  an  elderly  man,  with  a  young 
wife  of  whom  he  was  passionately  jealous.  He  was  also  talkative  and  quar- 
relsome when  in  liquor.  His  jealousy  was  directed  chiefly  toward  Lewis 
Thomas,  and  one  day  the  two  had  a  violent  cjuarrel  in  the  town  of  Lodi,  now 
Waterman.  Soon  after  they  started  home  by  different  routes,  and  Mead  was 
never  again  seen  alive,  a  few  days  afterward  being  found  in  the  beech  woods 
dead.  His  body  was  greatly  swollen ;  by  his  side  lay  a  broken  whisky  bottle, 
and  under  his  thigh  a  dead  rattle  snake !  On  his  person  were  scratches  which 
the  witnesses  thought  could  not  have  been  made  by  the  snake,  and  on  his 
throat  dark  marks  which  might  have  been  made  by  the  fingers  of  a  very 
strong  man.  Lewis  Thomas  attended  the  in(|uest  with  other  neighbors,  and  was 
there  arrested  and  taken  before  a  justice.  While  the  latter  hesitated  whether 
the  proof  was  sufficient  to  commit.  Gen.  T.  A.  Howard  passed  down  the  road, 
returning  from  court  at  Covington,  and  Thomas  at  once  employed  him  as 
counsel.  He  pressed  the  trial  and  evidence  was  judged  insufficient  to  hold. 
No  further  action  was  taken,  but  the  community  held  the  accused  guilty  and 
withdrew  all  fellowship  from  him.     His  residence  then  became  intolerable. 


and  he  went  to  California  in  1849,  where  he  died  in  1850,  in  apparent  peace 
and  without  an\-  reference  to  the  tragedy.  If  guilty,  his  case  did  not  turn  out 
in  accordance  with  the  popular  notion  in  such  cases. 

Another  remarkable  disproof  of  the  popular  idea  "that  murder  will  out'' 
is  found  in  the  case  of  Washington  Hoagland.  In  1855  he  was  residing  with 
his  brother  Rowan  in  an  old  farm  house,  set  far  back  from  the  road,  a  gloomy 
looking  place,  seemingly  fitted  by  nature  as  the  locality  of  mysterious  crime. 
Two  lewd  girls  had  made  the  house  their  home  for  a  few  days,  with  a  consent 
of  Rowan  Hoagland,  and  Washington  had  raised  a  disturbance  about  it.  One 
night  he  was  called  into  the  yard,  a  scuffle  occurred  and  next  morning  he  was 
found  there  dead,  in  his  hand  a  pistol,  and  on  his  throat  the  marks  of  strangu- 
lation. When  he  was  lifted  from  the  ground  the  pistol  fell  from  his  hand, 
which  the  ]3eople  thought  a  proof  that  he  did  not  die  holding  it.  He  was  a 
strangely  quiet  man,  almost  simple-minded,  and  without  an  enemv.  Strict 
examination  of  the  brother  and  the  girls  developed  no  proof,  though  the  latter 
were  generally  believed  to  have  guilty  knowledge  of  the  murder.  No  one 
was  arrested,  proof  being  lacking,  and  the  suspected  soon  after  took  final 
leave  of  the  county.  The  experience  of  this  township  tends  to  prove  that 
murder  escapes  detection  as  often,  in  proportion,  as  any  other  crime. 

Far  more  sensational  and  sorrowful  was  the  case  of  Noah  Beauchamp, 
the  onl}'  man  hanged  in  Parke  count}'.  Beauchamp  was  a  man  somewhat  past 
middle  life,  a  blacksmith  of  heavy  person,  ruddy  complexion  and  strong 
passions.  His  temperament  was  impulsive,  and  he  was,  one  might  say, 
unreasonably  jealous  of  the  honor  of  his  family.  He  was  a  consistent  mem- 
ber of  the  Baptist  church,  thoroughly  honest  in  his  dealings  and  enjoyed  the 
general  respect  of  his  neighbors.  His  neighbor,  George  Mickelberry,  was  a 
man  who  also  enjoyed  the  respect  of  all  and  no  difficulty  ever  occurred  be- 
tween the  men,  until  the  women  quarreled.  Delia  Decker,  a  young  woman  1i\'- 
ing  at  Mickelberry's,  had  employed  one  of  Beauchamp's  daughters  to  do 
some  work,  and  charged  that  Mrs.  Beauchamp  had  stolen,  or  rather  failed  to 
return,  a  quantity  of  wool  entrusted  to  her  for  the  work.  Of  course  this 
soon  grew  to  a  neighborhood  scandal  and,  coming  to  Beauchamp's  ears,  in- 
flamed him  to  a  high  degree  of  anger.  He  declared  he  would  go  immediately 
and  have  "the  Mickelberry  family  take  it  back."  On  his  way  he  passed  where 
they  had  been  cutting  up  meat  and  picked  up  a  butcher-knife  which  lay  on  a 
stump.  He  said  he  did  this  thinking  there  might  be  two  or  three  men  at  Mickel- 
berry's and  that  he  would  be  ovei-powered  if  attacked.  He  also  told  a  friend 
— ^but  does  not  state  the  fact  in  his  confession — that  he  knelt  and  prayed 
before   reaching  Mickelberry's    for  guidance;   nevertheless,   he  did  go  there 


angry  and  with  his  knife  concealed.  Almost  choking  with  anger,  he  ad- 
dressed some  violent  language  to  Delia  Decker,  when  Mrs.  Mickelberry  arose 
and  left  the  room.  Mickelberry  expostulated  with  him  mildly,  but  Miss 
Decker  answered  by  reiterating  the  charge  that  his  daughter  had  stolen  the 
wool.  White  with  passion  he  said :  ''If  you  was  a  man  I'd  cut  you  into  shoe- 
strings." Thereupon  Mickelberry  laid  his  hand  on  Beauchamp  and  said: 
"You  shall  not  talk  that  way  in  my  house."  And  on  the  instant  Beauchamp 
drew  the  knife  and  with  one  fearful  blow  buried  it  to  the  hilt  in  the  other's 
breast.  Mrs.  Mickelberry  testified  that  she  heard  the  bone  snap  from  the 
adjoining  room.     Mickelberry  fell  dead  without  a  word  or  cry. 

For  one  instant  the  homicide  stood  as  if  paralyzed.  Then  he  dropped  the 
fatal  knife  and  fled.  Reaching  the  river,  he  stole  a  canoe  and  crossed,  then 
made  his  way  by  the  most  direct  route  to  Texas,  then  the  uncommon  refuge 
for  the  unfortunate  and  the  criminal.  TJiere  he  worked  at  his  trade  and- 
went  by  his  true  name,  possibly  thinking  himself  perfectly  safe.  But  a  large 
reward  was  offered,  his  description  being  published  far  and  wide,  and  two 
adventurers  in  Texas  arrested  the  fugitive.  It  was  not  easy,  at  that  day,  to 
get  a  man  of  that  sort  out  of  Texas,  as  the  state  had  need  of  every  strong 
arm,  against  its  many  enemies,  and  the  more  desperate  he  was  the  more  she 
needed  him.  On  his  way  back  Beauchamp  made  one  dash  for  liberty,  knocked 
down  one  of  the  men  and  nearly  overcame  the  other,  but  was  overpowered. 
On  the  steamer  he  hanged  himself  with  the  sheet  from  his  bed,  and  was 
almost  dead  when  discovered  and  cut  down.  The  crime  was  committed  in 
the  northern  part  of  Vigo  county,  but  Beauchamp  employed  Gen.  T.  A. 
Howard  as  counsel,  who  took  a  change  of  venue  to  Parke,  where  the  pro- 
ceedings, including  the  appeal  to  the  supreme  court,  lasted  over  a  year. 
Howard  threw  all  his  energies  into  this  case,  and  felt  for  his  client  more  than 
a  common  interest;  but  it  was  in  vain.  He  was  sentenced  to  death  and  the 
supre'me  court  confirmed  the  sentence.  No  trial  held  in  Wabash  valley  ever 
excited  more  interest,  and  the  conduct  of  Mrs.  MickelbeiTy,  in  particular,  on 
the  witness  stand  excited  the  deep  respect  of  all,  and  even  affected  some  to 
tears.  When  Ned  McGaughey,  who  prosecuted,  asked :  "Can  you  point  out 
the  murderer  of  your  husband?"  the  tears  gathered  in  her  eyes,  as  she  softly 
replied :  "It  was  the  old  gentleman  who  sits  there."  No  part  of  the  examina- 
tion drew  from  her  a  single  angry  remark  about  Beauchamp,  to  whom  she 
invariably  alluded,  as  "the  old  gentleman."  General  Howard  never  ceased 
his  efforts  to  save  Beauchamp's  life,  till  he  had  laid  a  petition  for  commutation 
before  the  governor,  and  been  sadly  refused. 

On  a  dark,  gloomy  Sunday,  George  Howard,  Joseph  Ralston,   Henry 


Slavens  and  Ludwell  Robinson  together  went  to  the  jail.  Then  Howard,  with 
tears  in  his  eyes,  said  to  Beauchamp :  "I  have  done  all  I  could,  but  there  is 
no  hope;  nothing  remains  for  you  but  to  prepare  for  death."  Beauchamp 
replied  that  he  was  ready  to  die,  thanked  Howard  warmly  and  requested  to 
have  Rev.  Newport  preach  his  funeral  before  the  execution;  then  ate  a  light 
breakfast  and  made  his  last  wishes  on  various  matters,  known  to  Henry 
Slavens  (then  editor  and  lawyer),  who  also  wrote  out  his  so-called  confession. 
Friday,  February  8,  1843,  was  a  bitter  cold  day;  but  a  large  crowd  assembled. 
Beauchamp  sat  in  the  old  court  house,  dressed  for  death,  and  listened  to  his 
own  funeral  sermon.  Then  the  sad  procession  repaired  to  a  hollow  half  a 
mile  east  of  town,  where  the  gallows  had  been  erected.  He  said  no  more  to 
the  crowd  than  a  mere  good  bye.  Sheriff  Youmans  was  so  agitated  that  his 
first  blow  missed  the  rope.  The  next  severed  it,  and  just  as  the  condemned 
murmured,  "Lord  Jesus,  receive  my  spirit,"  the  drop  fell  and,  without  unus- 
ual struggle,  he  passed  to  eternity. 

It  is  foreign  to  this  work,  but  only  a  few  years  before  his  cousin  Beau- 
champ, of  Kentucky,  had  died  the  same  death,  and  for  a  crime  likewise  com- 
mitted in  defense  of  family  honor.  His  wife  had  been  seduced  before  mar- 
riage by  one  Sharpe,  who  later  became  attorney-general.  The  wrong  was 
talked  over  by  the  young  people,  and  finally  Beauchamp  became  so  frenzied 
that  he  called  Sharpe  out  one  night  and  killed  him.  The  wife  of  the  mur- 
derer clung  to  him  to  the  last  with  most  affecting  devotion.  As  the  fatal  day 
drew  near,  both  seemed  exalted  above  the  ordinary  feelings  of  mankind.  They 
prayed  aloud,  they  sang  till  the  jail  walls  echoed  their  fervor,  and  exulted 
that  he  was  to  die  for  no  mercenary  crime,  but  in  defense  of  chastity  and 
family  honor.  She  rode  with  him  to  the  scaffold,  sustained  his  courage  in 
the  last  trying  moments  and  had  inscribed  on  his  tomb  her  endorsement  of 
what  she  considered  his  chivalrous  act.  Thus  died  the  two  Beauchamps,  men 
of  high  spirit  and  noble,  but  untrained,  instincts.  Men  of  strict  honesty  in 
life,  but  victims  of  illy-regulated  passions.  Their's  were  no  vulgar  crimes, 
and  it  is  impossible  for  the  generous  mind  not  to  feel  a  sympathy  with  such 
men.  even  while  inexorable  law  condemns. 

Another  peculiar  case  will  be  narrated  in  this  connection :  In  Numa 
there  had  lived  from  a  very  early  day  one  Silas  Bowers,  who  was  a  business 
man,  but  always  in  some  local  trouble  and  had  many  suits  at  law.  He  had 
come  to  lie  an  experienced  rogue.  In  1854  this  man  whose  name  was  Bow- 
ers lost  a  suit  at  law  by  the  testimony  of  one  Sidwell,  and  in  a  few  nights 
afterward  Sidwell's  barn  burned,  with  his  crop  and  tools  within  it.  The 
honest  citizens  rose  en  masse,  seized  Bowers  and  a  few  of  his  gang,  whipped 


him  and  a  hired  witness,  named  Burke,  till  they  confessed  to  the  arson,  then 
notified  them  to  leave  on  pain  of  death.  Burke  immediately  complied,  after 
detailing  that  Bowers  employed  him  to  burn  the  barn,  and  he  in  turn  em- 
ployed one  Reeder,  who  really  applied  the  torch.  Reeder  was  chased  into  a 
swamp  in  Vigo  county  and  there  mysteriously  disappeared,  never  to  be  seen 
in  this  section  of  the  country.  Bowers  went  to  Terre  Haute,  and  actually 
had  the  audacity  to  return,  backed  by  a  new  gang.  The  society  here  known 
as  the  Regulators  now  saw  that  it  was  a  life  and  death  contest,  as  Bowers 
had  not  only  employed  attorneys  and  brought  suits,  but  had  a  gang  of  sup- 
posed assassins  to  aid  him.  The  citizens  again  captured  him  by  stratagem,  and 
whipped  him  so  unmercifully  that  his  back  was  a  mass  of  raw  and  bleeding 
flesh.  Then,  it  is  reported,  they  tied  him  to  a  tree,  placed  a  gun  in  Sidwell's 
hands  and  directed  him  to  shoot  Bowers,  which  Sidwell  offered  to  do  if 
enough  of  them  would  join  to  make  it  uncertain  who  fired  the  fatal  shot. 

The  country  was  now  terribly  excited.  The  first  move  of  the  Regula- 
tors had  been  generally  approved;  indeed,  they  numbered  some  of  the  best 
men  in  the  county.  But  some  shrank  from  extreme  measures ;  two  parties 
formed,  and  Bowers  had  a  few  sympathizers.  He  left,  but  again  returned, 
this  time  only  asking  permission  to  settle  up  his  business  and  then  leave  the 
country.  This  the  Regulators  readily  granted.  But  the  mob  spirit  was  now 
aroused,  and  good  citizens  who  had  started  with  it  could  no  longer  control  it. 
Other  men  were  now  "regulated"  for  mere  offenses  against  morality,  and  one, 
Ben  Wheat,  was  fearfully  lashed  for  no  offenses  at  all  that  anyone  can  recall 
now.  Meanwhile  Silas  Bowers  had  finished  his  settlement,  placed  his  remain- 
ing property  in  the  hands  of  a  trustee  and,  with  his  Avife,  had  started  for 
Illinois  in  a  carriage.  He  had  most  unwisely  threatened  vengeance  just  be- 
fcte  leaving,  and  it  was  whispered  about  that  his  death  was  determined.  A 
few  miles  west  of  the  Wabash  he  was  fired  upon  with  unerring  aim  by  two 
men  concealed  ahead  of  him  by  the  roadside,  and  fell  from  his  carriage  mor- 
tally wounded,  his  life  blood  spattering  the  dress  of  his  wife  by  his  side.  The 
manner  of  his  assassination  was  never  successfully  searched  out,  and  it  is  well 
perhaps  not  to  inquire  too  closely  or  curiously,  even  at  this  late  date,  as  to  just 
who  had  a  hand  in  this  affair — let  the  cloak  of  charity  fall  and  there  forever 

In  1856  occurred  another  murder,  which  may  here  be  of  some  interest. 
In  the  school  of  Couse  and  Condit  were  two  lads  of  fifteen  and  eighteen  sum- 
mers, Oscar  P.  Lill  and  Charles  H.  Thompson.  They  got  into  difficulty,  one 
with  the  other,  over  some  small  affair  in  a  literary  society,  which  resulted  in 
Thompson  stabbing  and  killing  his  classmate.     Thompson  fled  to  Mississippi, 


but  was  pursued  and  brought  back  the  next  summer.  The  trial  was  a  long 
delayed  one,  and  celebrated  counsel  was  procured  on  both  sides,  including 
Hon.  Dan  Voorhees  as  prosecutor  and  Hon.  R.  W.  Thompson,  later  secretary 
of  the  navy,  for  the  defense.  The  murderer  was  finally  sentenced  for  one  year 
and  the  governor  pardoned  him  out  in  a  few  months,  when  he  went  to  Iowa, 
served  honorably  in  the  Union  army,  settled  in  New  Orleans,  w'here  he  was 
city  appraiser  under  the  reconstruction  government,  and  after  the  revolution 
there  in  1877  returned  to  Iowa.  It  was  an  unfortunate  affair  and  the  man 
Thompson,  who  did  the  criminal  deed  in  his  youthful  passion,  always  carried 
with  him  the  deep,  sad  regrets  of  having  taken  the  life  of  a  fellowman. 

Including  the  killing  of  Nillis  Hart,  at  Montezuma,  in  the  autumn  of 
1856,  Parke  county  had  eight  homicides  up  to  1881,  of  which  three  were 
directly  due  to  whisky  and  two  to  lust. 

The  last  murder  in  this  county  was  the  killing  of  Mrs.  Lottie  Vollmer 
by  J.  C.  Henning,  at  Rockville,  in  the  nineties.  The  murderer  was  tried  and 
hung  at  Crawfordsville,  Montgomery  county. 


In  the  month  of  April,  1896,  the  entire  county  was  saddened  by  the 
work  of  an  insane  man  named  Alfred  Egbert,  of  Rockville,  who  killed  a  Mrs. 
Herman  Haschke,  an  innocent  woman  in  the  part  of  town  in  w'hich  the  insane 
man  lived ;  and  in  meeting  the  sheriff,  Col.  W.  D.  Mull,  his  trusty  deputy, 
William  Sweem,  Agnes,  a  daughter  of  the  murdered  woman,  aged  nine 
years,  and  her  brother,  Herman,  aged  seven  years.  The  work  was  all  done 
with  a  shot  gun,  with  which  he  killed  himself  while  secreted  in  one  of  the 
stock  stalls  at  the  county  fair  grounds,  thus  ending  one  of  the  most  terrible 
tragedies  ever  darkening  the  pages  of  Parke  county  history.  The  funeral  of 
Colonel  Mull  was  attended  by  persons  from  all  over  the  county;  the  court 
house  was  heavily  draped  in  mourning  and  sorrow  was  felt,  keen  and  deep, 
everywhere.  The  old  soldiers  and  Grand  Army  had  charge  of  his  burial. 
Rev.  F.  K.  Fuson,  of  the  Presbyterian  church,  preached  his  funeral  sermon. 
This  truly  good  man  and  county  official.  Colonel  Mull,  was  born  in  Ohio, 
came  here  in  1840,  enlisted  in  Company  A,  Fourteenth  Indiana  Regiment, 
served  later  as  colonel  of  the  One  Hundred  and  Forty-ninth  Regiment.  He 
studied  medicine  at  Jefferson  Medical  College  and  practiced  medicine  at 
Terre  Haute  till  1877. 

The  deputy  sheriff,  also  killed,  was  raised  in  Parke  county,  as  a  car- 


penter,  and  was  a  good  man  and  inoffensive  citizen,  carrying  out  the  duties 
of  his  office  when  shot  down  b}'  this  unfortunate  mad  man. 

The  murderer,  if  such  he  might  be  termed,  was  born  in  Rockville  in  1874, 
was  by  trade  a  carpenter  and  worked  on  the  house  of  Dr.  Mull,  among  his 
last  jobs.  Thus  six  human  lives  went  out  in  as  many  hours,  on  Rockville  soil. 




Perhaps  no  more  accurate  account  of  the  early  political  complexion  of 
Parke  county  can  here  be  given  than  that  expressed  in  a  former  history  of 
the  county  by  that  fair-minded  citizen,  J.  H.  Beadle,  from  whose  writings 
we  here  draw  liberally.  Among  other  points  he  makes  clear  of  the  following 
facts,  put  into  other  language,  in  part. 

Concerning  the  clerk's  office  in  Parke  county,  it  may  be  said  that  for 
numerous  reasons  there  has  been  connected  with  it  much  of  political  and 
other  interesting  histor\'.  This  ofiice  was  held  for  thirty  years,  almost  a 
generation,  by  two  men.  while  that  of  the  sheriff  was  frequently  held  more 
than  five  years  at  once  by  the  same  individual.  Very  few,  if  indeed  any. 
counties  in  the  commonwealth  have  been  so  fortunate  in  their  county  offi- 
cials. For  fifty-nine  years,  says  Mr.  Beadle,  down  to  the  date  of  his  writing, 
there  was  an  unbroken  line  of  county  treasurers  without  a  single  defalcation. 

Again,  take  the  map  of  the  Hoosier  state,  as  it  was  in  1840,  and  the 
Whig  strongholds  then  are  generally  strongly  Republican  now.  And  what 
is  true  of  Indiana  is  also  true  of  the  country  at  large.  The  Friends  (Quak- 
ers) were  nearly  all  Whigs,  and  nearly  every  member  of  that  honorable  so- 
ciety became  radical  Republicans.  Reserve  township,  for  example,  was 
Democratic  on  the  issues  of  tariff,  bank  and  distribution ;  it  remained  Demo- 
cratic when  those  issues  were  as  dead  as  Julius  Caesar,  and  was  still  Demo- 
cratic in  Garfield's  time  as  President,  but  on  an  entirely  new  set  of  political 
issues,  which  have  no  connection  with  the  issues  of  1840.  Yet  men  are 
sometimes  blamed  for  changing  their  party,  though  political  parties  are  ever 
changing  themselves.  "Why  men  who  held  together  on  finance  and  revenue 
issues  should  be  expected  to  hold  together  on  negro  suffrage  and  reconstruc- 
tion, is  one  of  those  things  no  logician  can  solve." 

Along  about  1832-3  there  seems  to  have  been  a  general  epidemic  among 
the  county  officials,  as  to  being  elected  and  after  a  time  handing  in  their 
resignations.  From  records  it  appears  that  many  men  who  in  1828  had  been 
Jackson  men.  in  1832  were  anti-Jackson  men.  John  G.  Davis,  who  was 
elected  on  his  popularity  for  sherifif  in  1831,  resigned  in  1833.     At  the  same 


time  Coroner  Johnstpn  resigned,  and  Nugent  was  appointed  in  his  stead ;  but 
he,  too,  resigned  in  March,  1835,  and  Hugh  J.  Bradley  was  commissioned  in 
his  place.  It  was  alpiost  impossible  to  find  a  man  in  those  days  who  would 
hold  the  office  of  coroner  or  probate  judge.  Meanwhile  the  county  offices  and 
nearly  all  of  the  records  of  the  county  were  consumed  by  fire;  the  Legislature 
was  appealed  to  and  corrected  the  difficulty,  as  far  as  possible,  by  an  act  to 
validate  titles  and  records,  but  an  immense  amount  of  trouble  devolved  on  the 
officials,  and  of  course  the  people  got  impatient  and  decided  to  "have  a 
change,"  as  they  have  in  politics  many  times  since  then — sometimes  for  the 
better  and  again  for  a  far  worse  administration. 

In  1823  Nathaniel  Huntington  and  Tliomas  H.  Blake  ran  for  the  Legis- 
lature, to  represent  Parke  county  with  Vigo,  and  the  vote  stood :  Parke — 
Huntington,  79;  Blake,  245.  Vigo — Huntington,  138;  Blake,  310.  In  1824, 
Jacob  Call,  Thomas  H.  Blake  and  Ratliffe  Boone  ran  for  Congress;  and  in 
1826  the  last  two  and  Lawrence  S.  Shuler,  of  Terre  Haute.  But  Boone  was 
by  this  time  too  strong  for  anybody  to  successfully  cope  with  him.  His  district 
extended  from  the  Ohio  to  Lake  Michigan,  and  he  faithfully  canvassed  it 
e\ery  campaign.  Lawrence  S.  Shuler  was  the  most  eminent  surgeon  in  this 
part  of  Indiana,  and  frequently  went  a  hundred  miles  to  perform  some  deli- 
cate operation.  He  died  not  long  after  he  was  a  candidate,  universally  la- 
mented. Boone's  next  competitor  was  John  Law,  who  brought  into  the  can- 
vass of  his  district  great  energy.  He  and  Governor  James  B.  Ray  made  a 
thorough  canvass  of  the  district  in  1828,  holding  forth  at  every  settlement, 
and  people  came  as  far  as  thirty  miles  in  canoes  and  on  horseback  to  hear 
them  speak.  One  niglit  they  were  swamped  in  the  Wea  plains,  but  found  a 
house  at  ten  next  morning,  got  breakfast  and  fresh  horses,  and  galloped  on 
to  their  next  appointment.  Boone  continued  to  represent  this  district  as  long 
as  he  cared  to  (  Parke,  however,  was  soon  cut  off  in  a  more  northern  district) , 
then  went  to  Missouri,  and,  after  all,  died  in  comparative  obscurity.  There 
is  much  talk  of  the  purity  of  politics  at  that  early  date,  but  upon  a  slight  ex- 
amination into  the  records,  it  will  be  seen  that  candidates  abused  one  another 
then  even  more  violently  than  in  these  latter  times,  and  more  rudely  and 
coarsely,  too. 

Judicial  circuits  were  on  the  same  broad  scale,  and  for  years  lawyers  and 
judges  (same  as  Lincoln  and  Douglas  tra\eled  togetlier)  went  from  Terre 
Haute  to  Laporte  on  horseback,  carrying  their  documents  in  leather  saddle- 
bags. Only  the  toughest  physiques  could  stand  such  exposure ;  the  weaklings 
died  young  men,  or  went  back  to  older  communities,  and  so  natural  selection 
secured  the  survival  of  the  fittest.     Hence  it  was,  that  out  of  the  pioneer  law- 


yers  came  a  grand  galaxy  of  great  men :  John  Law,  from  Vincennes ;  Blake 
Huntington  and  Farrington,  from  Terre  Haute;  Caleb  B.  Smith,  from  farther 
east ;  Joseph  A.  Wright,  Tilghman  A.  Howard  and  William  P.  Bryant,  from 
Rockville;  Hannegan,  Patterson  and  Wallace,  from  Covington;  Lane,  Curry 
and  Wilson,  from  Crawfordsville.  Of  the  early  lawyers  who  frequently 
practiced  at  Rockville,  five  afterward  graced  the  bench,  seven  became  mem- 
bers of  Congress,  and  at  least  two  became  United  States  senators.  Joseph  A. 
Wright  became  governor  and  minister  to  Berlin;  Bryant  became  chief  justice 
of  Oregon,  and  Howard,  charge  d'affaires  to  the  new  republic  of  Texas. 
Later  came  E.  W.  McGaughey,  who  was  in  Congress  several  terms,  and 
Thomas  Nelson  twice  represented  this  country  abroad,  in  cases  of  extreme 
delicacy  and  with  great  success.  Indeed  the  bar  of  Rockville  continued  to 
shine  with  brilliant  and  unusual  luster  down  to  if  not  later  than  1852,  after 
which  many  of  the  talented  men  removed  to  larger  fields  of  operation  in  the 
West  and  Southwest.  The  Civil  war  came  on  and  a  new  class  of  thinkers 
and  workers  obtained  hold  and  have  managed  things  at  the  bar  in  a  different 
and  more  modern  manner,  but  in  no  case  excelling  those  of  earlier  years. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  each  recurring  campaign  brought  forth  some  new 
and  generally  local  issue  in  politics  in  Parke  county,  and  these  issues  tended  to 
make  factional  fights  within  the  parties  and  made  a  very  unsettled  state  of 
affairs.  First  came  the  question  of  a  national  road,  which  was  partly  sur- 
veyed in  1827.  One  set  of  civil  engineers  reported  in  favor  of  a  route  from 
Greencastle,  with  a  bridge  across  the  Wabash  at  Clinton;  another  from  Terre- 
Haute,  and  a  third  from  a  point  some  distance  below.  Vigo  county  secured 
the  Representative  and  Terre  Haute  got  the  road.  Before  its  completion 
Terre  Haute  people  going  to  Indianapolis  went  north  to  Markle's  Mills,  then 
followed  the  east  bluff  of  the  wet  prairies  and  Raccoon  to  Bridgeton,  crossed 
the  Raccoon  and  went  up  to  Dixon's  Mills,  where  they  crossed  again  and 
followed  the  highest  land  eastward. 

Then  the  Wabash  and  Erie  canal  became  a  question;  it  excited  violent 
discussions  for  a  score  or  more  years  before  it  was  finally  completed,  as  it  did 
occasionally  years  thereafter. 

One  writer  on  this  topic  said:  "In  1825  Joseph  M.  Hayes,  of  Monte- 
zuma, announced  himself  a  candidate  for  the  Legislature,  with  a  spirited  ad- 
dress to  the  people,  in  which  he  claimed  the  power  to  do  much  for  the  canal 
if  elected.  The  canal  and  other  schemes  in  way  of  internal  improvement  con- 
tinued to  agitate  the  people  for  the  next  twelve  years ;  then  came  the  sweep- 
ing panic  of  1837,  knocking  all  such  matters  into  insignificance  and  turning 
the  people's  minds  toward  finance.     The  first  period  involved  the  questions 


most  natural  to  a  new  country,  and  national  issues  came  only  incidentalh- ; 
the  second  era  was  the  day  of  national  issues,  from  1837  to  1854,  and  the 
third  was  memorable  for  the  exciting  sujjjects  of  slaveiy,  war  and  reconstruc- 
tion. It  is  also  curious  to  note  that  the  old  document  from  which  Hayes' 
letter  was  copied,  relative  to  the  canal  issue,  also  states  that  a  Mr.  Deweese 
had  run  a  keel-boat  to  Roseville,  and  introduced  the  first  rats  into  Parke 
county — they  landed  from  that  boat !" 

In  1840  the  Whigs  swept  everything.  In  March,  1841,  they  expected 
an  immediate  and  great  improvement,  and  Parke  county  property  took  a  sud- 
den rise :  John  Tyler  vetoed  the  bank  bill,  and  property  took  a  tumble.  Then 
the  western  people  finally  surrendered  the  hope  of  a  national  paper  money, 
and  entered  on  that  era  of  financial  chaos  and  interminable  state  and  local 
banks,  which  lasted  over  twenty  years.  In  1842  the  ^^'higs  were  di\'ided  and 
made  a  rather  poor  showing  in  this  valley;  but  early  in  1843  they  were  again 
harmonious,  and  set  to  work  with  a  fury  and  partisan  bitterness  that  seems 
wild  to  the  present  reader.  The  newspapers  and  speakers  were  all  high-keyed 
and  said  many  harsh,  bitter  and  personal  things  one  against  the  other,  but  to 
no  avail  to  the  Clay  defenders — their  idol  was  defeated.  The  Whig  party, 
after  its  triumph  of  1848,  slowly  passed  away;  slavery  became  the  paramount 
issue,  and  that  led  to  war.  In  that  great  civil  strife  Parke  county  bore  a 
glorious  part,  the  history  of  which  appears  in  another  chapter  in  this  work. 
After  the  Civil  war  had  ended,  for  many  years  the  returned  soldiers,  backed 
by  their  friends,  dictated  the  policy  and  the  offices  of  the  county,  until  about 
1890-96,  wdien  a  younger  generation  of  politicians  took  the  reins  of  county 
government  into  theirhands  and  in  a  measure  relegated  the  old  guards  to  the 
rear,  while  some  of  the  officials  in  the  county  have  been  Democratic  and 
others  Republican.  The  "stand-patter"  and  the  "progressive"  is  no  new  thing 
in  Parke  county  politics — they  have  thrived  here  for  these  three  score  years 
and  more,  and  are  still  in  evidence. 


It  is  impossible  to  give  full  presidential  election  returns,  but  the  follow- 
ing fragmentary  account  will  give  the  reader  a  general  idea  of  the  political 
complexion  of  national  matters  in  Parke  county : 

1864 — Lincoln    (R)    2,112      1872 — (irant    (R)    (Majority.^    983 

McClellan  (D)   1,236      1876— Hayes   (R)    2,429 

1868— (No  record)  Tilden   (D)    1,817 



1880— Garfield     (R)      (Major- 
ity)      797 

1884— Cleveland    (D)    1,929 

Blaine    (R)    2,562 

1888— Harrison    (R)    2,768 

Cleveland    (D)    2,160 

1892 — Grover  Cleveland    (D)- 1,993 
Benjamin  Harrison  (R) 

1896— William  McKinley  (R)_2,8i8 
William  J.  Br3'an  (D) -2,590 
Prohibition  candidate  __      40 

People's    Party    156 

Gold   Standard   10 

National 46 

1900 — William  McKinley  (R) -3,064 
William  J.  Bryan  (D) -2,587 
Prohibition  candidate  __    205 

People's   Party 6 

Socialists    6 

Social  Democrats 66 

Union  Reform 13 

1904 — Theodore  Roosevelt  (R) 


Alton  B.  Parker   (D)__2,i76 

1908— William     Howard    Taft 

(R)    2,939 

William  J.  Bryan   (D) -2,647 

Prohibition  candidate 307 

Socialists   197 



P.Y   Prof.   .John    A.    LiNEn.\Rt;KR. 

We,  of  our  day  and  age,  are  so  accustomed  to  the  rights  and  privi- 
leges we  enjoy  that  it  does  not  occur  to  us  that  we  are  reaping  the  result  of 
the  earnest  thought  and  endeavors  of  the  men  who  have  preceded  us.  This 
is  as  true  in  the  field  of  education  as  elsewhere.  We  somehow  fail  to  remem- 
ber with  proper  appreciation  the  pioneers  who  laid  the  basis  for  our  splendid 
system  of  public  education. 

As  we  have  noted  the  meager  beginning  and  ha\'e  seen  the  wonderful 
growth  and  development,  the  organization,  the  supervision,  the  course  of 
study,  the  changed  teaching  force,  we  are  interested  to  know  what  has  been 
the  impetus  that  has  brought  this  progress  to  us. 

The  famous  Ordinance  of  1787  declares  "Religion,  morality  and  knowl- 
edge being  necessary  to  good  government  and  the  happiness  of  mankind, 
schools  and  the  means  of  education  shall  forever  be  encouraged."  The  spirit 
of  this  ordinance  is  found  in  both  constitutions  adopted  by  the  state.  It  seems 
to  us  that  the  men  who  have  guided  our  state  caught  the  meaning,  for  the  in- 
junction has  been  performed  to  the  fullest  in  both  letter  and  spirit. 

We  point  with  pride  to  our  elementary  and  secondary  schools  and  spend 
almost  a  million  dollars  annually  in  support  of  our  higher  institutions  of  learn- 
ing. How  vitally  the  schools  have  affected  the  life  of  the  state  we  can  realize 
onl)-  in  part. 

As  Indiana  has  not  been  tardy  in  the  work  of  education,  so  the  history 
of  the  schools  of  this  county  shows  that  Parke  has  alwaxs  kept  abreast  the 
educational  thought  of  Indiana  and  the  nation. 

It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  so  very  little  is  know  n  of  the  beginnings 
of  our  school  system  in  the  various  townships  of  the  county.  It  appears  that 
our  earliest  schools  were  established  about  1830.  Sugar  Creek  township's 
first  school  house  was  located  on  Wolf  creek  in  1829,  with  Nathaniel  Mor- 
gan as  teacher.  Another  school  was  established  north  of  the  Xarrows  in 
1830.  Three  schools  were  organized  in  Howard  township  in  1830;  one  in 
section  16  in  the  northern  part,  one  in  the  southern  and  one  in  the  eastern 


part  of  the  township.  The  earliest  school  in  Liberty  township  was  near 
Sylvania.  with  Isaac  Hobson  as  teacher. 

Reserve  township's  first  school  was  in  the  Linebarger  settlement  in  the 
house  of  Josiah  Horgar,  his  son  being  the  teacher.  One  year  later,  in  1825, 
the  first  school  house  was  erected  in  this  neighborhood.  James  Siler  taught 
the  first  school  in  the  southern  part  of  the  township  in  a  vacant  cabin  near 
the  residence  of  Solomon  Allen,  who  boarded  the  teacher  for  thirty-seven 
and  one-half  cents  per  week. 

Probably  the  first  school  in  Union  township  was  taught  in  the  small  log 
structure  which  stood  for  many  years  on  the  Burton  farm  just  east  of  Bell- 
more.  A  more  pretentious  early  building  near  Bellmore,  which  is  thus  de- 
scribed, may  serve  as  typical  of  the  best  of  the  primitive  school  buildings. 
"The  school  house  was  four  cornered.  One  corner  was  used  for  a  fireplace 
and  from  this  ascended  a  chimney.  The  floor  was  'ready  made.'  Lumber 
was  generally  too  scarce,  so  it  was  thought  that  the  ground  would  do.  When 
floors  were  put  in  they  were  made  of  puncheon.  The  window  was  an  opening- 
provided  by  leaving  a  log  out  of  the  side  of  the  house  and  covering  it  with 
greased  paper.  The  roof  was  of  clapboards  fastened  down  by  a  binder,  as  one 
would  make  safe  a  load  of  hay  on  a  wagon.  The  seats  were  halves  of  logs 
with  flat  sides  up  and  wooden  pins  for  legs.  There  were  no  desks.  Along 
the  side  of  the  house  and  below  the  window,  that  there  might  be  as  much 
light  as  possible,  was  an  eighteen-inch  plank  used  as  a  writing  desk.  Big  and 
little  reached  up  and  bent  down  that  they  might  learn  to  write.  If  there  were 
any  other  fixtures  besides  the  benches  and  writing  desk  they  were  in  keeping 
with  the  style  of  house." 

In  1839  a  school  house  was  built  in  what  is  now  No.  i  district  in  Florida 
township.     It  was  built  by  subscription  for  both  school  and  church  purposes. 

G.  K.  Lankford  was  the  first  school  trustee  elected  in  Raccoon  town- 
ship. Prominent  among  the  early  teachers  were  William  Goodin,  Hugh  Vin- 
zant,  G.  L.  Bailey  and  Calvin  Pruett. 

The  first  school  house  in  Washington  township  was  built  in  what  was 
known  as  the  "lost  quarter."  The  first  teacher  was  John  McBride.  Enoch 
Kersey  taught  the  first  school  in  the  Roaring  Creek  settlement  in  1833.  It 
was  a  subscription  school,  Mr.  Kersey  receiving  two  dollars  per  scholar  per 

The  first  school  in  Adams  townshiji  was  taught  by  John  McGinnis  in  the 
Andrew  Ray  log  cabin  on  the  northeast  corner  of  the  square,  after  Ray  had 
moved  into  his  new  home.  This  was  in  the  early  twenties.  Other  early 
teachers  in  this  township  and  town  were  William  Noel,  Jeremiah  Depew, 


John  Hayes.  Lucinda  Depew,  John  Garrigus,  Jesse  Lowe  and  Judge  IMorris. 
In  1837  an  effort  was  made  to  secure  Asbury  University  (now  DePauw)  and 
liberal  subscriptions  were  made,  but  Greencastle  was  successful. 

It  is  impossible  to  state  just  what  qualifications  were  required  of  the 
early  teachers.  There  was  no  uniformity,  even  in  the  county.  The  patrons 
were  the  judges  of  the  qualifications  of  one  who  wished  to  teach  their  chil- 
dren. However,  we  do  know  that  he  was  a  severe  disciplinarian,  who  be- 
lieved that  the  rod  should  not  be  spared,  and  many  tales  are  told  of  the 
"awful"  floggings  that  were  begun  by  the  teacher  on  the  opening  day  of 
school  and  continued  as  an  essential  feature  throughout  the  term.  The  writer 
had  the  pleasure  of  hearing  "first  hand"  of  the  general  condition  and  the 
character  and  scope  of  the  work  of  our  early  schools.  He  was  qualified  to 
speak  because  he  attended  school  in  the  early  forties  and  taught  in  the  early 
fifties.  In  the  earliest  schools,  the  "three  R's"  only  were  taught,  "Readin", 
Ritin'  and  Rithmetic,"  to  the  Rule  of  Three.  By  1840  some  history  and  geog- 
raphy were  added  to  the  curriculum.  The  early  teacher  received  a  salary  of 
about  twenty  dollars  per  month  and  "boarded  around." 

It  is  impossible  to  say  when  the  teacher  ceased  to  teach  subscription 
schools  and  became  a  teacher  of  public  schools  under  a  real  system.  How- 
ever, in  1 86 1  we  find  Parke  county  with  a  school  examiner,  whose  duty  seems 
to  have  been  to  pass  upon  the  scholarship  of  an  applicant.  Later  he  was  given 
the  added  duty  of  visiting  the  schools  of  the  county  and  reporting  to  the  state 
superintendent  of  public  instruction.  Each  examiner  determined  in  his  own 
way  as  to  the  standing  of  the  applicant.  Barnabas  C.  Hobbs  thus  describes 
his  first  examination  :  "The  only  question  asked  me  was,  'What  is  the  product 
of  twenty-five  cents  by  twenty-five  cents?"  As  the  question  did  not  occur  in 
Pike's  arithmetic,  I  could  not  answer  it.  The  examiner  thought  it  was  six 
and  one-fourth  cents,  but  he  was  not  sure.  We  discussed  its  merits  for  an 
hour  or  more,  when  he  decided  that  he  was  sure  I  was  qualified  to  teach 
school,  and  a  first-class  certificate  was  given  me."  Mr.  Hobbs  probably  did 
more  than  any  one  man  to  give  Parke  county  recognition  in  the  educational 
world.  For  more  than  fifteen  years  he  was  principal  of  Friends  Blooming- 
dale  Academy.  Then  in  1866  he  was  elected  president  of  Earlham  College 
and  in  1868  he  became  state  superintendent  of  public  instruction.  While  hold- 
ing this  office  he  was  chosen  chairman  of  the  committee  for  considering  a 
scheme  for  federal  aid  to  education  in  all  states  where  it  might  be  needed.  In 
1 87 1  he  returned  to  Bloomingdale  and  again  assumed  the  principalship,  which 
position  he  filled  several  years  more. 

In  1873  the  General  Assembly  abolished  the  office  of  county  examiner 


and  created  that  of  county  superintendent,  or  rather  merely  changed  the 
name  and  enlarged  the  powers  of  the  old  office.  Mr.  Siler  was  the  first  super- 
intendent of  Parke  county. 

The  list  of  county  examiners  and  county  superintendents,  date  of  elec- 
tion, and  length  of  term  follows : 

Wilson  Hobbs — June  4,  1861,  one  year. 

Edwin  F.  Hadley — September  4,  1862,  two  years. 

Chester  G.  Bartholomew — June  14,  1864,  one  year. 

John  M.  McLaughlin — June  9,  1865,  two  years. 

Joseph  Fox  worth}' — June  11,  1867,  one  year. 

Ared  F.  White — June  5,   1868,  five  years. 

Elwood  C.  Siler — June  2,  1873,  two  years,  eight  months. 

Oliver  Bulion — January  28,  1876.  five  years. 

W.  H.  Elson — June,  1881.  ten  years. 

Charles  E.  Vinzant — June.  1891,  six  years. 

Jesse  M.  Neet — ^June,  1897.  fourteen  years. 

Homer  J.  Skeeters — February.  191 1,  to  present  time. 

The  foundation  work  for  the  county  institute  is  to  be  credited  largely 
to  Superintendent  Elson.  although  the  development  has  come  through  many 
vears  and  each  superintendent  has  contributed  his  .share.  In  1887  the  en- 
rollment was  171  and  the  cost  $205.00.  In  1912  the  enrollment  was  t6o  and 
the  cost  $340.00.  It  is  doubted  if  any  movement  in  the  schools  of  any  state 
has  been  a  greater  source  of  inspiration  than  has  the  county  in.stitute,  liring- 
ing  as  it  does  the  best  men  of  this  and  other  states  with  messages  of  clieer. 

Along  with  the  county  institute  has  come  the  township  institute,  \\hich 
has  been  of  direct  benefit  to  the  schools.  The  teachers  of  the  several  town- 
ships meet  and  discuss  questions  of  local  interest  and  study  books  which  deal 
with  the  history  of  education,  psychology  of  the  child,  method  of  the  recita- 
tion or  possibly  a  text  which  is  wholly  inspirational.  These  books  are  se- 
lected and  outlined  for  study  by  the  state  board  of  education.  Each  town- 
ship chooses  its  leader;  but  once  each  year,  in  each  township,  the  county  su- 
perintendent is  the  leader. 

One  cannot  write  a  history  of  the  development  of  the  schools  of  this 
county  without  speaking  of  the  Indiana  Young  Peo])le's  Reading  Circle  move- 
ment. This  movement  began  in  1884.  but  it  was  se\eral  years  lief  ore  it  was 
a  vital  factor  in  the  schools  of  the  county.  This  work  was  furthered  greatly 
by  the  unceasing  energy  of  Superintendent  J.  M.  Neet.  Mr.  Neet  for  six 
years  was  a  member  of  the  Indiana  Young  People's  Reading  Circle  board 
and  had  the  honor  to  ser\'e  for  two  years  as  its  president.     More  than  one 


year  of  his  term  this  count_v  was  the  banner  county  of  tlie  state  and  tliousands 
of  good  books  are  purchased  each  year  and  placed  in  the  hands  nf  the  chil- 
dren of  the  county  as  a  result  of  his  efforts  in  that  line. 

Consolidation  can  only  be  said  to  be  in  use  in  two  townships  and  in 
those  two,  Liberty  and  Reserve,  it  is  not  carried  out  in  the  largest  sense. 
Several  other  townships  have  abandoned  schools  and  now  transport  the  pupils 
to  adjoining  districts,  but  without  changing  the  conditions  of  the  sclinol 
affairs  of  the  district  that  cares  for  the  children. 

Township  high  schools  have  made  a  marvelous  growth  since  the  town- 
ship high  school  law  passed  by  the  General  Assembly  of  igoi,  whereb\-  the 
township  trustees  may  provide  secondary  education.  At  the  present  time  the 
following  townships  maintain  high  schools:  Florida,  at  Rosedale;  Union,  at 
Bellmore:  Wabash,  at  Mecca;  Washington,  at  Marshall:  Raccoon,  at  Bridge- 
ton,  and  Liberty,  at  Tangier.  Superintendent  Skeeters  has  been  very  instru- 
mental in  getting  the  standard  of  his  township  high  schools  such  that  the 
state  board  of  education  will  place  them  on  the  list  of  certified  and  accredited 
schools.  Besides  these  township  high  schools  there  are  three  other  schools 
offering  secondary  in.struction :  The  public  high  schools  of  Rockville  and 
Montezuma,  and  Friends  Bloomingdale  Academy. 

The  academy  has  had  an  interesting  history.  In  1845  Harvey  Thomas, 
a  well  known  educator  of  Pennsylvania,  conceived  the  idea  of  establishing  a 
Western  manual  labor  school  for  the  purpose  of  furnishing  a  thorough  edu- 
cation to  young  persons  of  both  sexes.  At  first  there  was  a  farm  of  about 
forty  acres  on  which  a  suitable  building  was  erected.  It  was  soon  discovered 
that  the  manual  labor  .system,  though  correct  in  theory,  was  not  at  all  practi- 
cable on  the  small  scale  here  tried  and  the  plan  was  abandoned.  The  Friends 
church  had  l^een  much  interested  and  decided  to  take  over  the  property.  Ac- 
cordingly the  Friends  Bloomingdale  Academy  was  chartered  under  the  law, 
to  be  managed  and  controlled  by  the  Bloomingdale  quarterly  meeting  of  the 
Friends  church.  The  board  of  trustees  selected  the  principal  and  ga\e  direct 
control  to  him.  Those  who  have  served  in  this  capacity  are  B.  C.  Hobbs, 
Seth  Hastings,  John  Chawner,  Josiah  P.  Edwards,  Thomas  Armstrong,  A. 
F.  Mitchell,  Irving  King,  W.  J.  Reagan,  R.  S.  Coppock,  William  Hill  and 
Milton  J.  Ho\-er.  Three  years  ago  Prof.  William  Hill,  a  former  resident  of 
Bloomingdale,  but  now  connected  with  Chicago  L^niversity,  organized  the 
academy  for  the  purpose  of  eventually  establishing  an  agricultural  school.  The 
citizens  of  Bloomingdale  and  the  friends  of  the  academ)-  were  greatly  pleased 
by  his  plan  and  much  assistance  was  given  the  school.  The  grounds  \vere 
beautified,  the  buildings  remodeled,  the  faculty  increased,  courses  in  agricul- 


tnre  and  domestic  science  were  offered.  An  agricultural  guild  was  estab- 
lished by  a  number  of  farmers  of  the  communit3^  The  present  principal, 
Mr.  Hover,  has  been  working  in  sympathy  with  that  movement.  It  cannot 
be  told  just  how  permanently  the  purpose  of  the  academy  has  been  changed, 
but  the  movement  is  laudable.  The  alumni  of  the  academy  numbers  more 
than  two  hundred  and  fifty,  the  first  class  having  graduated  in  1869. 

The  attempt  at  graded  schools  in  Rockville,  the  county  seat,  probably 
dates  back  to  1832.  In  1839  Parke  County  Seminary  was  organized.  A 
brick  building  was  erected  in  the  west  part  of  town.  James  Brown  was  the 
principal  and  Matthew  Simpson,  later  Bishop  Simpson,  was  the  assistant.  In 
1873  a  new  building  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  thirty-six  thousand  dollars.  The 
graded  schools  were  held  here  and  the  old  seminary  building  was  used  for  a 
colored  school  and  is  so  used  to  the  present  day.  Rockville  is  the  only  town 
in  the  county  that  provides  separate  schools  for  the  colored  race,  instruction 
in  both  common  school  and  high  school  studies  being  given  in  their  own  build- 
ing. The  building  of  1873  becoming  inadequate,  due  to  the  increased  attend- 
ance in  high  school,  a  fine  modern  building  was  erected  in  1908.  This  has 
been  a  very  strong  factor,  promoting  interest  in  the  schools,  being  a  matter 
of  common  pride  of  the  pupils  and  patrons  as  well.  That  the  town  and  com- 
munity has  availed  itself  of  the  high  school  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  four 
hundred  and  twenty-five  have  graudated  from  the  high  school  since  1876. 
Rockville  has  always  been  fortunate  in  having  as  members  of  her  board  of 
education  able  and  public-spirited  citizens  who  have  been  glad  to  serve  the 
best  interests  of  the  town  and  community.  The  present  board  consists  of  J.  S. 
McFadden,  president:  O.  M.  Teague,  secretary,  and  W.  S.  Ferguson,  treas- 

In  order  that  the  statistical  report  of  the  present  county  superintendent 
may  mean  anything  in  showing  the  advancement  of  the  schools  I  shall  briefly 
give  some  comparative  figures  : 

In  1870  there  were  118  schools:  in  1912  there  were  no  schools. 

In  1870  the  total  enrollment  in  the  grades  was  5,232,  and  in  the  high 
school,  142:  in  1912  the  total  enrollment  in  the  grades  was  4,530,  and  in  the 
high  school,  383. 

In  1870  the  average  length  of  the  school  year  was  98  days,  Howard 
and  Greene  townships  having  58  days  and  Rockville  178  days;  in  19 12  the 
average  length  of  the  school  year  was  147  days,  Howard  and  Sugar  Creek 
townships  having  120  days  and  Rockville  165. 

In  1870  there  were  131  teachers — 92  males  and  39  females;  in  1912 
there  were  178  teachers — 69  miles  and  107  females. 


In  1870  there  were  four  teachers  employed  in  high  school  work;  in  1912 
thirty  teachers  gave  all  their  time  to  high  school  work. 

Average  wages  in  1870  were  $2.00  per  day;  average  wages  in  1912  were 
$2.90  per  day. 

In  1870  the  value  of  school  buildings  was  $89,000  and  the  value  of  equip- 
ment was  $6,900;  in  1912  the  value  of  school  buildings  was  $230,000  and 
the  value  of  equipment  was  $10,000. 

In  1870  the  total  tuition  expenditure  was  $26,688.05;  in  1912  the  total 
tuition  expenditure  was  $73,415.86. 

In  1870  the  total  special  school  fund  expended  was  $14,091.51  ;  in  191 2 
the  total  special  school  fund  expended  was  $68,551.29. 

Such  is  a  brief  sketch  of  the  development  and  progress  made  in  the 
schools  of  Parke  county.  It  is  a  record  of  which  every  citizen  can  be  justly 
proud.  And  best  of  all,  we  are  not  content  with  the  attainments  already 
reached,  but  we  can  foresee  even  greater  progress  in  the  next  quarter  of  a 
century  than  has  taken  place  in  the  last  half  century. 



Agriculture  and  coal  mining  operations  are  the  two  leading  industries 
and  sources  from  which  wealth  is  derived  in  Parke  county.  It  was  by  the 
former  that  the  sturdy  pioneers  made  their  living,  and  really  is  the  great 
source  which  has  developed  the  county  into  its  present  state  of  prosperity 
and  perfection.  The  various  township  histories  will  deal  considerably  on 
this  subject,  in  connection  w^ith  the  development  of  the  county,  but  it  will  be 
well  here  to  note  some  of  the  points  connected  with  the  resources  of  the 
county  from  these  two  industries. 

The  land  is  somewhat  more  hilly  than  in  other  parts  of  the  state,  yet 
there  are  thousands  of  acres  of  rich  alluvial  soil  within  Parke  county  that 
yields  up  its  annual  harvest  to  gladden  and  repay  the  industrious  husband- 
man. It  is  seen  in  reports  made  to  the  state  in  1880 — nearly  a  third  of  a 
century  ago — wliich  gives  the  following  report  of  the  productions  of  this 
county : 

In  1880,  Parke  county  produced  in  bushels:  Wheat,  636,000;  oats, 
68,000;  clover  seed,  3,600;  corn,  1,085,942;  Irish  potatoes,  14,000;  fall  and 
winter  apples,  78,000;  peaches,  4,600;  and  of  small  fruits,  45,000  pounds  of 
excellent  grapes,  1,500  gallons  of  strawberries.  8,200  gallons  of  currants, 
blackberries  and  raspberries,  6,000,  vyith  many  cherries,  etc.  In  the  month 
of  August,  1881,  it  was  reported  to  the  state  that  Parke  county  had  growing 
38,000  acres  of  Indian  corn;  11,000  of  timothy  meadow;  11,000  of  clover; 
35,000  in  blue  grass ;  and  that  the  year  previous  it  had  produced  32,000  gal- 
lons of  cider,  11,500  of  sorghum,  7,000  of  maple  syrup  and  made  28,000 
pounds  of  butter.  The  number  of  cattle  reported  that  season  was  16,000 
head;  fattening  hogs,  33,000;  .stock  hogs,  21,000;  sheep,  29,000  head,  from 
which  wool  was  clipped  amounting  to  100,000  pounds.  The  same  year  there 
were  150,000  chickens,  6,400  geese  and  ducks,  700  stands  of  bees,  with  a 
production  of  8,800  pounds  of  honey. 

For  the  vear  ending,  April,  1881,  there  was  mined  in  Parke  county. 
8,000  tons  of  bituminous  coal;  number  of  coal  miners.  166;  200  tons  of  fire- 
clay.    It  had  sixty  miles  of  first  class  turnpike,  with  twenty-five  miles  more 


under  construction.  The  present  number  of  miles  of  gravel  roads  is  some- 
thing over  eight  hundred  miles,  second  to  only  two  in  Indiana. 

In  1910  Parke  county,  according  to  the  United  States  census  bulletins, 
had  2,448  farms,  and  were  classed  as  follows:  183  had  from  three  to  nine 
acres;  146  had  from  ten  to  nineteen  acres;  475  had  from  twenty  to  forty- 
nine  acres;  669  had  from  fifty  to  ninety-nine  acres;  581  had  from  one  hun- 
dred to  one  hundred  and  seventy-four  acres ;  250  had  from  one  hundred  and 
seventy-five  to  two  hundred  and  fifty-nine  acres;  118  had  from  two  hundred 
and  sixty  to  five  hundred  acres;  21  had  from  five  hundred  to  one  thousand 
acres;  5  had  from  one  tliousand  acres  and  over.  The  total  land  area  was 
286,080.  Land  in  farms.  256.392  acres.  Improved  land  in  farms,  166,741 
acres;  woodland  in  farms,  67,326  acres;  per  cent,  of  area  of  land  in  farms. 
89.6;  average  number  acres  in  a  farm  in  the  county,   104 J/>  acres. 

The  value  of  all  farm  property  in  1910  was  placed  at  $18,234,495.  In- 
crease in  value  in  last  decade,'  87  per  cent.  Average  value  per  acre,  $51.27. 
Value  of  cattle,  $464,000;  horses,  $890,000:  mules,  $103,000:  swine,  $298,000: 
sheep,  $89,490:  poultry,  $90,600:  colonies  of  bees,  987:  value  of  bees,  $3,852. 


More  than  half  a  century  ago  Parke  county  farmers  took  steps  to  organ- 
ize and  sustain  agricultural  societies  and  associations,  some  of  these  being 
successful  many  years,  while  others  fell  for  want  of  united  interest  and  effort. 
Parke  and  Vermillion  counties  were  long  associated  together  in  county  agri- 
cultural and  annual  fair  enterprises.  The  old  newspaper  files  disclose  the 
facts  that  in  1855  and  on  through  the  Civil  war  period  up  to  and  including 
1865,  fairs  were  held  annually  by  these  sister  counties,  jointly,  some  of  which 
were  held  at  Montezuma,  while  others  were  held  elsewhere.  Another  ac- 
count shows  that  the  Parke  County  Agricultural  Society  was  holding  its  first 
annual  fair  in  1880,  after  a  lapse  of  more  than  twenty  years.  The  tair 
grounds  were  dedicated;  McCune's  Band  was  present  and  an  admission  was 
charged  to  the  grounds  on  the  day  of  public  dedication.  Races  ^\■ere  had 
between  some  of  the  fastest  horses  in  Indiana.  The  president  was  S.  Ceil- 
ings; vice-president,  James  A.  Allen;  secretary,  Da\'id  H.  Webb;  treasurer, 
N.  W.  Cummings;  general  superintendent,  Shelby  C.  Puett.  The  grounds 
consisted  of  forty  acres,  with  a  splendid  driving  or  race  track;  Ladies  Hall, 
and  many  stock  sheds  and  stalls.  No  "skin-games"  of  gaming  and  gambling 
were  allowed  on  the  grounds,  no  matter  what  price  was  tendered  them  by 
such  gamesters. 


In  June,  1866,  there  was  held  what  was  known  as  the  Parke  County 
Horticuhural  and  Rural  Institute,  at  Bloomingdale.  The  president  was  E.  C. 
Silers;  treasurer,  Perley  Pearson;  secretary,  John  M.  Hill. 

At  all  of  these  exhibits  there  were  hundreds  of  fine  displays  in  farm, 
garden,  fruit,  stock  and  handiwork,  all  from  Parke  county. 

At  Bridgeton,  Raccoon  township,  in  the  spring  of  i860,  Abel  Mitchell 
offered  a  premium  for  the  best  colt  that  could  be  shown  in  Bridgeton  in  June. 
At  the  appointed  time  there  were  twenty  colts  brought  and  about  five  hundred 
persons  were  present.  This  gave  the  idea  of  a  fair.  June  i6th,  that  year, 
was  organized  what  was  styled  the  Bridgeton  Union  Agricultural  Society, 
which  became  a  joint-stock  company  and  was  incorporated.  The  fair  grounds 
consisted  of  about  twenty  acres,  with  a  good  trotting  race  course.  In  1880 
the  reports  show  the  society  to  have  been  in  a  flourishing  condition.  A  few 
years  later,  however,  all  fairs  in  this  county  went  down,  including  the  Rock- 
ville  fair,  which  closed  about  1890. 


A  record  was  kept  on  Silver  Island,  from  1834  to  1881,  by  Norburn 
Thomas,  which  shows  the  weather  and  crops  in  that  vicinity  for  the  years 
included  in  the  period  named: 

1834 — All  grain  in  bottom  destroyed. 

1835-36-37-38  and  '39 — Raised  a  good  crop. 

1840 — Wheat  badly  rusted. 

1841-42 — A  crop. 

1843 — Half  destroyed. 

1844 — All  destroyed  July  7th. 

1845  to  1850 — A  crop. 

1 85 1 — All  destroyed  June  15th. 

1852-3-4 — Vei-y  dry  season. 

1855 — A  crop  and  very  wet  year. 

1856 — No  summer  so  dry  since  the  settlement  of  county. 

1857 — Driest  spring  ever  witnessed. 

1858 — Crop  all  destroyed. 

1859-62 — Good  crops. 

1863 — Corn  all  frost  bitten. 

1864 — Short  crops. 

1865 — Partly  lost  in  October. 


1866-7 — Crops  good. 

1868— Half  lost. 

1869-73 — Fair  crops. 

1875 — All  destroyed;  highest  water  ever  seen. 

1876— One-third  lost. 

1877 — A  good  crop. 

1878-9 — Small  portion  lost. 

1880 — To  June  ist,  one- third  lost  so  far. 




The  state  railroad  commissioner's  reports  for  191 1-2  show  the  number 
of  miles  of  each  railroad  in  Parke  county,  main  track,  as  follows :  Central 
Indiana,  15.38;  Brazil  division. of  the  Chicago  &  Eastern  Illinois,  26.08; 
Terre  Haute  division,  Chicago  &  Eastern  Illinois,  4.21;  Chicago,  Indiana  & 
Western,  20.89;  Cleveland,  Cincinnati,  Chicago  &  St.  Louis,  1.07;  Toledo, 
St.  Louis  &  Western,  3.08;  Vandalia,  23.44.  This  makes  a  total  of  91.45 
miles  of  main  trackage  in  Parke  county. 

By  an  old  newspaper  file  at  Rockville,  dated  November  20,  1859,  it  is 
gleaned  that  at  that  date  the  first  attempt,  in  public,  to  secure  a  railroad  foi" 
Parke  county  was  made,  by  holding  a  mass  meeting  at  the  court  house,  that 
week,  to  look  toward  securing  the  Evansville  &  Crawfordsville  line.  The 
company  wanted  Parke  county  to  donate,  in  subscriptions,  money  to  the 
amount  of  sixty  thousand  dollars.  There  were  subscriptions  made  at  this 
meeting  amounting  to  ten  thousand  dollars.  The  work  went  forward,  men 
.  worked  for  and  against  the  project,  and  meeting  after  meeting  was  held, 
but  subscription  was  not  popular.  1861  came  and  with  it  the  Civil  war 
opened,  which  stopped  all  such  enterprises.  After  the  war,  the  county  was 
still  without  a  railroad  line.  Coal  had  been  struck  in  paying  quantities  in 
many  sections  of  the  county,  and  was  seeking  its  outlet  to  the  great  outside 
world,  through  some  system  of  transportation.  Five  different  lines  sought 
to  enter  or  cross  this  county  in  the  early  seventies,  and  all  but  two  failed  to 
accomplish  their  iam.  First,  the  Logansport,  Crawfordsville  &  Southwest- 
ern, which  was  surveyed  to  Rockville  in  1870,  commenced  to  be  constructed 
in  1871,  and  was  completed  to  Rockville  in  1872.  Soon  the  old  Evansville 
&  Chicago  line  was  leased  to  this  company  and  it  then  made  direct  connec- 
tions between  Terre  Haute  and  Logansport. 

The  east  and  west  road,  later  styled  the  Indianapolis,  Decatur  &  Spring- 
field line,  had  already  gotten  as  far  from  the  west  as  Montezuma,  this  county, 
by  the  time  of  the  1873  panic,  and  by  a  series  of  mysterious  business  negotia- 
tions, its  course  was  turned  to  the  northeast  and  by  Bloomingdale,  and  it 
was  finally  completed  across  the  county  in   1877-8.     So  it  will  be  observed 


that  Rockville,  the  county  seat,  had,  with  the  central  part  of  the  county,  a 
splendid  grade  and  right-of-way,  while  the  northern  portion  had  the  road 
itself;  the  crossing,  instead  of  being  at  Rockville,  as  popular  belief  was  that 
it  would  be,  was  at  an  inconsiderable  way  station,  with  several  small  towns 
and  hamlets,  instead  of  the  concentrated  railroad  and  commercial  interests 
usually  found  at  a  county  seat.  The  road,  starting  out  from  Attica,  Foun- 
tain county,  was  destined,  it  was  supposed,  to  run  through  this  county,  en- 
route  to  the  southeast,  but  after  several  miles  of  track  had  been  provided  for 
in  this  county,  it  found  its  coal  interests  led  it  farther  to  the  west,  hence  that 
did  not  materialize  to  do  any  commercial  good  for  Rockville. 

After  the  shifting  scenes  of  a  full  third  of  a  century  and  more  of  pro- 
posed and  completed  steam  railways,  in  this  county  the  list  has  been  narrowed 
down  to  these :  The  road  from  Terre  Haute  to  the  northeast,  known  as  the 
Vandalia  (of  the  Pennsylvania  system)  ;  the  Cincinnati,  Hamilton  &  Dayton 
line,-  from  Montezuma  eastward  across  the  county;  the  Chicago  &  Eastern 
Illinois,  running  from  north  to  south  through  Parke  county,  entering  the 
territory  in  Liberty  township  and  passing  out  at  the  south  from  Florida  town- 
ship; the  Central  Indiana  line.  The  commissioner's  reports  on  the  mileage 
of  these  various  roads  is  found  at  the  commencement  of  this  item,  and  gives 
a  total  of  less  than  ninety-six  miles  of  road,  but  which  gives  ample  outlet  for 
the  products  of  Parke  county,  in  all  directions  one  may  desire  to  ship  in  or 


Some  of  the  enterprising  men  tried  toring  for  oil,  but  that  was  soon 
shown  to  be  a  geological  absurdity  in  this  county.  Then  all  talk  was  about 
coal.  Before  the  war.  Professors  Cox  and  Brown  had  made  a  hasty  survey 
of  Parke  and  shown  that  it  was  fortunately  located  on  the  eastern  edge  of  the 
great  Illinois  coal  field.  Then  local  enthusiasts  took  up  the  work  and  proved 
that  this  county  contained  enough  workable  coal  to  supply  the  world  for  a 
thousand  years.  Later  surveys  lowered  this  claim  a  little,  but  proved  be- 
yond controversy  that  Parke  had  eight  good  seams  and  enough  for  all  prac- 
tical purposes.  Mines  were  opened  in  every  section  of  the  count}',  but  it 
soon  appeared  that  there  would  be  no  market  without  a  railroad,  and  in  a 
little  while  no  less  than  five  lines  were  laid  off  through  the  county,  of  which 
two  were  actually  completed.  First  was  the  Logansport,  Crawfordsville  & 
Southwestern,  which  was  surveyed  to  Rockville  in  1870.  Work  began  in 
1871  and  trains  started  to  Rockville  early  in  1872.     Soon  after,  the  company 


leased  that  part  of  the  old  Evansville  &  Chicago,  above  Terre  Haute,  and 
after  that  the  road  was  managed  entirely  by  them  from  Logansport  to  Terre 

Meanwhile  the  mining  interests  had  developed  rapidly.  On  Sand  creek, 
three  to  four  miles  northeast  of  Rockville,  private  banks  had  been  worked 
for  many  years ;  but  the  sun^ey  developed  the  fact  that  immense  wealth  in 
coal  was  waiting  development  there,  and  as  soon  as  the  Logansport  railroad 
reached  the  locality  active  business  began.  The  Sand  Creek  Coal  Company, 
the-  French  Mine  Company,  and  several  individuals  worked  the  ground 
actively  for  a  while,  and  the  large  and  flourishing  village  of  Nyesville  sprang 
up  in  the  beech  wood.  For  a  long  time  development  was  hindered  by  strikes 
and  other  results  of  the  ill  adjustment  of  labor  and  capital,  but  ere  long  the 
coal  mine  there  established  a  reputation  which  made  it  the  preferred  of  all 
the  accessable  markets  for  heating  and  steam  making.  Long  before  the  war 
there  had  been  some  coal  mined  from  the  Wabash  bluffs,  in  Florida  township, 
but  now  the  improved  transportation  gave  it  a  great  stimulus,  and  the  village 
of  Clinton  Locks  was  in  like  manner  built  up  by  miners  and  their  families. 
And  similarly,  the  mines  on  Lower  Raccoon  built  Rosedale  and  other  settle- 

Coming  down  to  the  present  day,  the  mining  reports  of  Indiana  give  us 
these  figures:  Number  of  tons  coal  produced  in  Parke  county  in  1910, 
728,000  tons ;  wages  paid  for  mining  the  same,  $780,260.  The  names  of  the 
mines  operating  in  Parke  county  in  1910  were:  Brazil,  No.  9,  seam  four 
feet  and  three  inches  thick ;  Superior  No.  2,  four  feet  and  four  inches  thick ; 
Superior  No.  3,  three  feet  and  three  inches  thick;  Superior  No,  5,  three  feet 
and  three  inches  thick;  Fairview,  five  feet  seam;  Parke  No,  11,  six  feet  six 
inches  thick;  Parke  No.  12,  six  feet  seven  inches  thick;  Lyford  No.  i,  six 
feet  in  thickness;  Moore,  four  feet  thick;  Harrison,  three  feet  five  inches 
thick;  No,  i,  four  feet  two  inches  thick. 

The  only  mining  accident  reported  during  the  year  19 10  was  that  at 
Superior  mine  No.  3,  where  an  Italian  named  Carlo  Ponti  was  killed  by  a 
premature  blast,  on  July  25th  of  that  year. 

Coal  was  retailing  at  Rockville  in  the  autumn  of  19 12  at  about  three 
dollars  and  twenty-five  cents  per  ton,  thus  giving  the  population  cheap  fuel 
for  both  domestic  and  manufacturing  purposes. 



The  first  banking  carried  on  in  Rockville  was  by  tbe  Rockville  Bank, 
organized  in  1853.  Besides  some  eastern  capitalists,  General  Steele,  Persius 
Harris  and  a  few  others  became  stockholders  of  a  concern  of  which  Brock- 
way  and  Levings  of  Cleveland,  Ohio,  were  the  chief  factors,  commencing 
with  an  ad\-ertised  capital  of  $300,000.  A  three-ton  fire-proof  safe  was 
brought  from  Terre  Haute  and  placed  in  the  Harris  building,  a  three-story 
structure  where  Dooley's  hardware  stands.  A  force  of  men  and  twelve 
yoke  of  oxen  succeeded  in  transporting  the  safe  as  far  as  the  Armiesburg 
bridge,  when  all  stood  from  under  and  held  their  breath  while  the  ponderous 
load  went  safely  over  with  its  burden !  It  was  not  long  before  the  capitalists 
of  the  East  and  the  Rockvike  men  had  different  views  on  finances  and  liank- 
ing  management,  and  the  Parke  County  Bank  was  organized  and  commenced 
business  September  i,  1855,  with  a  capital  of  $100,000.  The  first  directors 
were :  Alexander  McCune,  I.  J.  Silliman,  John  Sunderland,  P.  E.  Harris, 
G.  K.  Steele,  E.  M.  Benson,  Dr.  James  L.  Allen,  John  Milligan  and  Salmon 
Lusk.  In  July,  1863,  the  stockholders  concluded  to  wind  up  their  affairs 
and  apply  for  a  charter  for  a  national  bank.  The  board  of  directors  was 
fixed  at  nine  and  the  capital  at  $125,000,  and  on  September  ist  the  assets  of 
the  old  corporation  were  turned  over  to  the  First  National  Bank  and  the  lat- 
ter assumed  the  liabilities  of  the  fomrer.  General  Steele  had  been  president 
of  the  Parke  County  Bank  from  its  first  formation;  he  was  now  elected 
president  of  the  national  bank,  and  continued  to  be  annually  elected  until 
1 87 1,  when  he  declined  to  serve  longer.  Calvin  W.  Levings  had  also  been 
cashier  of  the  old  bank  from  its  inception,  and  he  continued  in  that  position 
in  the  National  bank.  In  1864  the  capital  was  increased  to  $150,000  and  in 
1869  to  $200,000.  In  July,  1877,  the  affairs  of  the  bank  were  wound  up, 
and  a  new  charter  was  received  under  the  name  of  the  National  Bank  of 
Rockville,  with  a  capital  of  $100,000.  The  First  National  Bank  of  Rock- 
ville was  the  sixty-third  national  bank  incorporated  in  the  United  States. 
Their  building  was  completed  in  1869,  and  went  through  the  disastrous  fire 
in  1870,  unscathed.  The  charter  of  this  bank  expired  May  14,  1897,  when 
the  title  was  changed  to  that  of  the  Rockville  National  Bank  and  a  new- 
charter  secured.  In  1896  the  capital  of  this  institution  was  $100,000:  de- 
posits, $152,000;  resources  and  liabilities,  $318,815.  Its  present  capital 
stock  is  $50,000;  surplus  and  profits,  $78,431  ;  circulation,  $50,000:  deposits 
in  November.   1912,  were  $424,657,  thus  making  its  liabilities  $548,439.36. 


Its  table  of  resources  as  shown  in  statement  of  September,  1912,  were: 
Loans  and  discounts,  $221,435.03;  overdrafts,  $5.12;  United  States  bonds 
for  circulation,  $50,000;  bonds,  securities,  etc.,  $113,151.06;  banking  house 
and  fixtures,  $20,000;  cash  in  vaults,  $29,340.69:  cash  due  from  banks, 
$112,007.46;  due  from  United  States  treasurer,  $2,500;  total,  $548,439.36. 
This  bank  belongs  on  the  "Roll  of  Honor,"  showing  tliat  it  possesses  surplus 
and  profits  in  excess  of  capital,  thus  giving  tangible  evidence  of  strength  and 
security.  Of  the  7,500  National  Banks  in  this  country,  only  1,300  occupy 
this  proud  position,  and  this  Rockville  institution  is  among  the  number.  It 
goes  without  saying  that  it  has  been  won  by  merit  and  worth  alone. 

In  the  original  bank  building,  erected  in  1869,  provision  was  made  for 
what  was  long  known  as  the  National  Hall,  a  public  auditorium,  seating  six 
hundred  persons.  It  had  a  large  stage  and  a  handsome  drop  curtain,  well 
remembered  by  many  now  residing  here  in  Rockville.  It  had  dressing  rooms 
and  was  fully  up-to-date.  Its  roof  had  a  resort  place  where  many  select 
parties  were  held,  and  there  they  surveyed  the  attractive  landscape  presented 
by  nature  round  about  the  town.  Here  hundreds  viewed  the  total  eclipse 
of  the  sun  in  August,  1869,  a  rare  sight  for  any  generation  of  men  to  behold. 
Concerts  were  held  there,  men  and  women  were  there  united  in  marriage,  and 
many  happy  gatherings  were  there  assembled.  But,  like  all  earthly  things, 
the  building  was  doomed.  On  November  16,  1906,  it  was  burned  and  the 
present  magnificent  brick  structure  was  built  the  following  year,  and  in  it 
the  ppstoffice  is  kept.  This  building  and  its  elegant  fixtures  would  do  credit 
to  any  city  in  the  country. 

The  officers  of  this  concern  have  been  in  part  as  follows :  Presidents, 
•  George  K.  Steele,  Alexander  McCune,  Nathan  Pickett;  (National  Bank  of 
Rockville)  J.  M.  Nichols  to  January  i,  1894;  S.  L.  McCune  from  January 
I,  1894,  until  expiration  of  charter, .May  14,  1897;  (Rockville  National 
Bank)  S.  L.  McCune,  until  January  3,  1897;  S.  T.  Catlin,  from  June  3, 
1897,  to  December,  1908,  when  he  died;  F.  H.  Nichols,  from  December  12, 
T908,  to  the  present  time,  November,  1912. 

The  cashiers  have  been :  Calvin  W.  Levings,  S.  A.  Hornick,  William 
Magill,  William  E.  Livengood,  S.  L.  McCune,  F.  H.  Nichols,  from  1894  to 
expiration  of  the  charter  May  14,  1897,  and  under  the  new  charter  until 
elected  president  in  December,  1908;  A.  T.  Brockway,  present  cashier.  The 
present  assistant  cashier  is  W.  H.  Dukes;  also  Edgar  Teague.  M.  H.  Case 
is  the  present  vice-president.  S.  L.  and  M.  H.  McCune  were  former  vice- 

The  Parke  State  Bank  was  organized,  as  the  Parke  Banking  Company, 


by  A.  K.  Stark,  D.  A.  Coulter  and  J.  H.  Tate,  as  a  private  bank.  The  same 
year  they  erected  their  bank  building,  a  two-story  brick,  twenty  by  ninety- 
three  feet  in  size,  located  on  the  northeast  corner  of  the  Square.  In  1875 
Mr.  Coulter  withdrew,  selling  his  interest  to  his  partners.  In  June,  1886, 
Mr.  Tate  resigned  as  cashier  and  removed  to  Omaha,  Nebraska;  Alfred  H. 
Stark  was  made  acting  cashier,  serving  until  188/,  when  he  was  made  cashier. 
In  1893  it  was  incorporated  as  the  Parke  Bank,  D.  W.  Stark  becoming  asso- 
ciated \\ith  the  new  concern,  a  state  bank.  A.  K.  Stark  was  elected  presi- 
dent and  A.  H.  Stark  was  made  cashier.  The  bank  was  re-incorporated 
under  the  banking  laws  of  Indiana  in  1902,  iJnder  the  title  of  Parke  State 
Bank.  Its  officers  in  November,  1912,  were  A.  K.  Stark,  chairman;  A.  H. 
Stark,  president;  W.  J.  White,  vice-president;  G.  C.  Miller,  cashier;  H.  M. 
Rice,  assistant  cashier.  The  statement  of  the  bank  September  4,  1912, 
shows  resources  and  liabilities  to  the  amount  of  $538,277.95.  The  cash 
capital  is  $75,000;  surplus,  $20,000;  undivided  profits,  $12,052.06;  deposits, 

The  management  of  this  banking  house  is  beyond  question  among  the 
best  in  the  countty.  Its  stock  is  owned  by  some  fifty  prominent  citizens  of 
Parke  county,  seven  of  whom  compose  the  board  of  directors,  who  participate 
in  the  actual  management  of  the  bank's  affairs.  The  board  of  directors  is 
composed  of  the  following  representative  business  men:  A.  B.  Collings, 
capitalist :  W.  E.  Ferguson,  of  Ferguson  Lumber  Company ;  W.  B.  Thomp- 
son, of  Thompson  Co. :  A.  K.  Stark,  A.  H.  Stark,  W.  J.  White  and  G.  C. 
Miller.  Their  work  is  all  checked  by  an  auditing  committee,  composed  of 
three  other  stockholders,  besides  which  precaution,  the  bank  is  regularly  ex- 
amined by  the  state  banking  department.  This  double  check  of  accounts 
makes  it  doubly  safe  and  secure  to  its  depositors  and  stockholders. 

At  Montezuma  there  have  been  two  small  banking  houses,  private  con- 
cerns, of  no  great  consequence,  that  went  down  years  ago.  Aside  from 
those  there  have  never  been  any  banks  in  Parke  county  until  the  present  ones 
were  formed,  and  of  which  the  following  is  a  complete  list,  with  particulars 
concerning  them  and  their  present  standing,  officers,  etc. ; 


The  First  National  Bank  of  Montezuma  was  established  in  1904.  Its 
present  officers  are :  President,  S.  P.  Hancock ;  vice-president,  J.  E.  Johnston  ; 
cashier,  R.  W.  Johnston.     Its  capital  is  $25,000;  deposits,  $90,000. 

The  Citizens  National  Bank  of  Montezuma,  established  in  1909,  has  a 


capital  of  $16,000,  and  deposits  amounting  to  $95,000.  Officers:  W.  E.  Dee, 
president ;  C.  W.  Hughes,  vice-president ;  S.  P.  Hancock,  cashier. 

Rosedale  National  Bank,  organized  in  1908,  has  a  capital  of  $25,000 
and  deposits  of  $95,000.  Officers:  Thomas  Conley,  president;  E.  R.  Bald- 
ridge,  vice-president;  Clyde  Riggs,  cashier. 

The  Bank  of  Bloomingdale  was  organized  in  1907,  and  lias  a  capital  of 
$30,000  and  deposits  of  $240,000.  Officers  :  E.  E.  Neal,  president ;  Cyrus  E. 
Davis,  vice-president ;  W.  M.  Haig,  cashier. 

Mecca  Bank,  established  191 1,  has  a  capital  of  $25,000;  deposits  of 
$120,000.  Officers:  William  E.  Dee,  president;  Edward  Shirkie,  vice- 
president;  S.  P.  Hancock,  cashier. 

Citizens  Bank  of  Marshall,  established  in  1903,  has  a  capital  of  $20,000; 
deposits  amounting  to  $80,000.  Officers :  James  C.  Swaim,  president :  O. 
"VV.  Burford,  cashier. 

The  organization  of  the  banks  at  Rockville  has  been  given  in  full  above. 

In  all  the  passing  years  Parke  county  has  never  had  but  one  bank  failure, 
that  of  a  small  private  concern  at  Montezuma,  years  ago.  The  banks  of 
Rockville  came  through  the  various  panics  and  today  are  the  business  and 
financial  pride  of  the  entire  county. 


The  following  village  plattings  have  been  made  in  Parke  county : 

Armiesburg,  platted  prior  to  1832,  on  sections  7  and  12,  township  15, 
range  8  west.  Plat,  as  executed  originally,  destroyed  by  fire  of  1832.  It  is 
situateil  in  Wabash  tow-nship,  on  the  old  canal. 

Annapolis,  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  12,  township  16,  range  8 
west,  was  platted  February  4,  1837,  by  William  Maris,  Sr.,  and  John 

Bridgeton,  on  section  22,  township  14,  range  7  west,  b)-  James  and  Mary 
Searing.  March  27,  1857. 

Bloomingdale,  platted  September  30,  1865,  on  sections  13  and  24,  town- 
ship 1 6,  range  8  west,  by  William  Pickard,  H.  B.  Little  and  A.  D.  Tomlinson. 

Catlin,  platted  in  townships  14  and  15,  range  7,  in  the  early  sixties. 

Coloma,  platted  on  sections  33  and  34,  township  16,  range  8,  January  27. 
1876,  by  fifteen  persons. 

Diamond,  platted  on  section  34,  township  14,  range  7,  by  the  Brazil 
Block  Coal  Company,  December  10,  1893, 


Fullerton  (Lodi),  platted  on  section  2,  township  17,  range  9,  by  Jesse 
Bowen  and  others,  April  13,  1836. 

Guion,  platted  on  section  7,  township  16,  range  6,  bv  Robert  F,  Bruin, 
January  7,  1882. 

Howard,  platted  February,  1848,  by  John  Gaw,  just  west  of  Westport. 

Hudnut,  platted  on  section  14,  township  14,  range  9  \\est,  by  Joseph  W. 
Morey,  April  27,  1880. 

Judson,  platted  on  section  24,  township  16,  range  7  west.  Max  4,  1872, 
by  Alexander  Buchanan. 

Jessup.  platted  by  John  Barnes,  February  26,  1887,  on  section  14.  town- 
ship 14,  range  8  west. 

Klondyke,  platted  on  section  31,  township  16,  range  8  west,  January  15, 
1907,  by  William  E.  Ferguson,  Walter  S.  Ferguson  and  Mary  Ferguson. 

Lyford,  platted  on  the  southeast  of  section  14,  township  14,  range  9  west, 
May  14,  1892,  by  William  H.  Bonner. 

Lena,  platted  on  section  35,  township  14,  range  6  west,  by  Robert  H. 
King,  February  15,  1871. 

Lyford  City,  platted  on  sections  14  and  23,  township  14,  range  9  west, 
by  John  B.  Shaw,  August  8,  1892. 

Montezuma,  platted  on  sections  25,  26,  35,  36,  township  16,  range  9 
\\  est.  by  Ambrose  Whitlock,  July  20,  1849. 

Mansfield  platted  August  4,  1852,  by  Samuel  B.  Gookins. 

Marshall,  platted  on  section  9,  township  16,  range  7  west,  by  Alfred 
Hobson  and  Alary  Hobson,  November  19,  1879. 

Mecca,  platted  on  section  20,  township  15,  range  8.  August  7,  1890,  by 
Samuel  L.  McCune. 

Numa  was  platted  by  John  \\"ilson,  October  10,  1836,  on  section  25, 
township  14,  range  9  west. 

Northampton,  platted  on  sections  7  and  8,  township  16.  range  6  west, 
December  26,  1851,  by  William  and  John  Aydelott  and  Jesse  Collings. 

Nyesville,  platted  on  section  34,  township  16,  range  7  west,  by  Martin 
Newling,  October  18,  1872. 

Parkville,  platted  in  township  16,  range  6  west,  October  4.  r837,  by 
Presley  Doggett. 

Rockville  (original),  platted  February  28,  1825,  on  section  7,  township 
15,  range  7  west,  by  William  P.  Bryant  and  T.  A.  Howard. 

Rosedale,  platted  on  parts  of  sections  25,  27  and  34,  township  14,  range  8. 

Sylvania,  platted  on  section  10,  township  17,  range  8  west,  by  David 
-Hadley,  September  6,  1839. 


Tangier,  platted  by  William  B.  Swaine  and  Edmund  Lindley,  March  13, 
1886,  on  section  15,  township  17,  range  8. 

Westport  (now  Howard),  platted  by  T.  N.  Burton  and  James  R.  Bur- 
ton, on  section  18,  township  17,  range  8  west,  June  20,  1836. 

^\'est  Union,  platted  on  section  17,  township  16,  range  8  west,  Fpbruar)' 
18  1837,  by  John  G.  Hongham. 

West  Atherton,  platted  on  section  36,  township  14,  range  9  west,  by 
Sirena  L.  Modesett,  August  23,  1908. 

\Vaterman  (formerly  Lodi),  on  section  8,  township  17,  range  9  west. 


The  population  of  this  county,  according  to  the  1910  United  States  cen- 
sus reports,  was  as  follows : 

Total  population,  22,214;  the  towns,  cities  and  villages  as  listed  in  the 
census  compendium  was,  Annapolis,  200;  Bloomingdale,  528;  Bridgeton,  219; 
Catlin,  185;  Colma,  184;  Diamond,  1,070;  Guion,  50;  Jessup,  75;  Judson, 
141;  Lena,  225;  Lyford,  100;  Marshall  334;  Mecca,  1,350;  Montezuma, 
1,537;  Nyesville,  95;  Rockville,  1,943;  Rosedale,  1,166;  Sylvania,  200;  Tan- 
gier, 275. 

The  total  population  of  the  county  in  1861  was  15,538;  in  1870  it  had 
reached  18,166,  and  in  1880  it  was  placed  by  census  reports  at  19,406. 

From  the  above  it  will  be  observed  that  of  the  inhabitants  in  1910  there 
were  9,810  living  in  the  towns  and  villages,  while  the  balance  of  12,333  re- 
sided in  the  country,  the  total  being,  in  1910,  22,214.  (See  Township  His- 
tories for  present  population  of  each  township.) 

The  above  shows  an  increase  in  population  of  three  and  four-tenths  per 
cent,  between  1900  and  1910.  The  county  has  474  square  miles  and  a  popu- 
lation to  each  square  mile  (average)  of  49.7  persons. 

The  foreign  population  includes:  Austrians,  176;  English,  149;  Italians, 
163;  Scotch,  103;  Welsh,  28. 

The  sex  are  divided,  11,556  males  and  10,658  females. 

The  per  cent,  of  illiteracy  in  the  county  is  5.3  per  cent,  of  the  entire  popu- 

Those  of  school  age  are  6,770;  of  those  attending  schools,  4,604,  or  88 
per  cent. 

The  number  of  dwellings  in  the  county  is,  5,349:  number  of  families, 



The  late  J.  H.  Beadle  is  authority  that  there  were  in  all  about  three 
thousand  "witness  trees"  blazed  by  the  United  States  government  surveyors 
in  this  county,  as  shown  by  the  record  of  the  land  office.  In  1880  there  were 
but  a  few  still  standing,  the  balance  either  having  died  from  old  age  or  been 
thoughtlessly  cut  down  by  the  axeman.  At  that  date  there  was  an  effort 
made  to  prevent  these  trees  from  being  destroyed. 


In  the  month  of  November,  1832,  the  building  containing  the  deeds  and 
other  valuable  public  records  of  Parke  county  was  burned.  All  deed  records 
were  burned  save  those  recorded  in  book  "D,"  which  was  opened  November 
1 2th  the  year  before  and  was  only  about  half  filled.  These  deeds  were  all 
recorded  with  a  quill  pen  in  elegant  style  of  penmanship  by  the  recorder, 
Wallace  Rea. 


The  first  legal  execution  in  Parke  county  was  that  of  Noah  Beauchamp, 
on  Friday,  February  8,  1843,  '"  the  timber  southeast  of  the  Rockville  ceme- 
tery, by  Sheriff  Jesse  Youmans.  People  came  from  far  and  near  to  this 
execution,  even  from  Illinois  and  surrounding  counties  in  this  state.  It  was 
a  bitter  cold  day  and  several  women,  with  babes  on  their  arms,  were  present 
and  drank  whisky  freely,  with  the  men,  in  order  to  "drive  out  the  cold." 

'The  second  execution  in  the  county  was  that  of  Buck  Stout,  on  August 
8,  1883.  by  John  R.  Musser.  This  was  really  a  case  from  Montgomery  county, 
but  was  tried  in  the  courts  of  Parke  county. 

TAXATION    LIST   OF    1833. 

The  following  shows  how  property  was  taxed  in  1833,  in  Parke  county : 

Poll  tax   37/^c 

First-class  land,  per  acre,  one  hundred  acres 80c 

Second-class  land,  per  hundred  acres -60c 

Third-class  land,  per  hundred  acres 40c 

Each  hundred  dollars  bank  or  other  stock 25c 

Each  town  or  out  lot,   one-half  cent  per  dollar  assessed 


soldier's  REUNION.    1875. 

The  greatest  military  gathering  in  Parke  county  was  in  1875,  when  a 
reunion  was  held  of  the  old  soldiers.  At  least  fifteen  thousand  people  gath- 
ered at  Rock\iIle,  and  the  occasion  was  graced  by  the  appearance  of  Gen. 
William  T.  Sherman,  one  of  the  two  great  heroes  of  the  civil  conflict. 


■In  1854  the  Tnir  Republican,  of  Rockville,  had  the  following  local  mar- 
ket quotations  in  its  columns:  Flour,  $7.00  per  barrel;  wheat,  $1.10;  corn, 
48  cents:  oats.  40  cents;  rye,  45  cents;  molasses,  per  gallon,  25  cents;  coffee, 
43  cents ;  sugar.  5  cents ;  rice,  6  cents ;  butter,  28  cents ;  bacon.  7  cents ;  ham, 
15  cents;  eggs.  10  cents;  tea.  from  60  cents  to  $1.00;  cheese.  10  cents;  honey. 
15  cents;  chickens,  per  dozen.  $1.50. 

The  quotations  at  Rockville  in  October.  1865.  a  decade  later,  and  after 
th  close  of  the  Civil  war.  were  as  follows:  Wheat,  $2.00;  apples,  $1.00; 
Irish  potatoes.  40  cents;  butter,  per  pound.  35  cents;  eggs,  per  dozen,  i^ 
cents:  lard,  per  pound.  20  cents;  bacon.  20  cents;  feathers,  per  pound.  60 

The  present  year.  1912.  papers  give  the  following  in  their  September 
issues,  as  being  the  going  prices:  Corn.  69  cents;  wheat,  85  cents;  oats.  40 
cents;  barley,  53  cents;  rye,  70  cents;  flax-seed.  $1.62;  potatoes.  $1.13;  hay. 
$14.00;  butter,  23  cents;  eggs.  18  cents;  hogs.  $7.11;  clover  seed.  $9.80; 
wool,  18  cents;  coal  oil,  15  cents;  gasolipe.  20  cents;  nails,  3  cents;  calico.  6 
cents;  muslin,  10  cents;  sugar.  6  cents. 


The  news  of  the  assassination  of  President  Abraham  Lincoln,  on  the 
niglit  of  April  14,  1865.  at  Ford's  theater,  Washington.  D.  C,  bv  the  shot 
fired  by  J-  W'ilkes  Booth,  and  from  which  wound  he  died  at  7  :22  the  follow- 
ing morning,  was  received  at  Rockville  just  as  the  citizens  were  making  out  a 
program  for  a  great  jollification  meeting  o^'er  the  news  of  the  previous  day 
of  the  surrender  of  Confederate  General  Lee  to  General  Grant,  which  meant 
the  close  of  the  war.  The  jollification  meeting  was  turned  into  one  of  mourn- 
ing, and  Governor  Oliver  P.  Morton,  who  had  announced  by  proclamation 
that  April  20th  would  be  observed  the  state  o\-er  by  the  loyal  Union  citizens 
as  a  day  of  jubilee  and  rejoicing,  recalled  his  proclamation  and  that  day  was 


set  apart  in  Indiana  as  a  day  of  mourning  for  the  fallen  magistrate.  At 
Rockville  no  large  demonstration  was  held,  but  the  citizens  met  at  the  court 
house  the  day  following  the  receipt  of  the  sad  news  and  arranged  for  a  public 
meeting  on  the  following  Sabbath  at  the  court  house,  at  which  Rev.  McNutt 
was  called  to  serve  as  chairman  and  Samuel  Magill,  S.  F.  Maxwell  and 
Thomas  N.  Rice  were  appointed  a  committee  to  retire  and  draft  a  set  of 
resolutions,  which  had  five  sections  and  which  were  soon  presented  and 
passed  by  the  assembly,  after  which  the  Doxology  was  sung  and  the  bene- 
diction pronounced.  The  hour  seemed  too  sad  anfl  sacred  to  make  speeches 
and  none  were  made,  at  length.  It  was  a  blow  which  struck  to  the  \ery 
heart  of  all,  and  it  was  many  weeks  before  the  people  of  Rock\-ille  and 
Parke  county  could  rally  from  the  terrible  shock  of  real  grief. 

Garfield's  death. 

Wednesday,  September  21,  1881,  memorial  services  over  the  death  of 
President  James  A.  Garfield  were  held  in  Rockville,  at  the  Presbyterian 
church.  The  business  houses  were  tastily  draped  and  all  places  closed  during 
the  exercises  that  afternoon.  Flags  were  hung  at  half  mast.  .\t  two  o'clock 
the  bell  tolled  its  solemn  tones,  in  memoriam  of  the  death  of  an  assassinated 
President,  the  second  in  this  country.  The  audience  within  the  church  sat  in 
quiet  and  hushed  attention.  The  McCune  Cadets  marched  with  draped  flags 
and  reversed  arms  from  the  armoiy  and,  upon  invitation,  took  seats  near  the 
stand.  The  church  was  appropriately  decorated  under  direction  of  Capt. 
J.  F.  Meacham,  Dr.  Wirt,  and  Misses  Mary  McEwen  and  Maggie  Thompson. 
A  large  portrait  of  the  deceased  President,  in  a  shield  embellished  with  the 
flag,  crepe  and  flowers,  hung  on  the  wall  behind  the  pulpit.  Above  this  were 
in  large,  golden  letters  of  beautiful  design,  the  then  memorable  words,  "God 
reigns."  Hon.  Thomas  N.  Rice  was  president  of  the  day  and  spoke  touching- 
ly.  Rev.  W.  P.  Cummings  offered  invocation  and  Rev.  William  Y.  Allen 
read  the  Scriptures.  Short  addresses  were  made  by  A  F.  White,  Rev.  John 
L.  Boyd,  Rev.  McSmith,  Dr.  Gillum  and  J.  T.  Johnston.  At  the  close,  the 
Cadets  fired  their  military  salute  and  marched  back  to  their  armory. 

The  next  Sunday  memorial  services  were  held  in  the  Christian  church. 

m'kinley's  death. 

Again  the  hand  of  the  assassin  laid  low  another  beloved  President,  Will- 
iam McKinley,   who  was  shot  in  Buffalo,   New  York,   while  attending  the 


Pan-American  Exposition,  and  who  died  September  14,  1901,  from  the 
wounds  inflicted  upon  him  eight  days  earlier.  A  befitting  tribute  was  paid  to 
the  dead  President  by  the  city  of  Rockville.  The  entire  population  devoted 
Thursday,  September  19th,  from  two  to  four  in  the  afternoon,  to  the  honor 
of  the  beloved  magistrate.  When  the  hours  for  the  exercises  at  the  opera 
house  arrived  the  auditorium  was  filled  with  truly  sorrowing  and  reverent 
people.  The  decorations  were  in  keeping  with  the  occasion.  A  large  picture 
of  the  dead  President  was  quite  prominent,  being  beautifully  mounted,  and 
underneath  was  the  inscription :  "God's  will,  not  ours,  be  done."  The  meet- 
ing was  called  to  order  by  S.  D.  Puett;  invocation  by  Rev.  J.  C.  Christie;  a 
memorial  sermon  was  delivered  by  Rev.  H.  N.  Ogden;  a  short  address  was 
given  by  Hon.  James  T.  Johnston,  who  was  introduced  as  a  personal  friend, 
a  comrade  in  the  days  of  Civil  war  on  the  tented  field  and  a  colleague  of  his 
in  Congress  four  years.  He  naturally  spoke  with  much  feeling  of  the  la- 
mented President.  Next,  Elder  O.  E.  Tomes  followed  Mr.  Johnston  with  a 
brief  tribute,  in  which  he  discoursed  in  a  most  masterly  manner  and  compared 
Mr.  McKinley's  assassination  with  those  of  the  lamented  Garfield  and  Lin- 


The  Rockville  Tribune,  on  July  23,  1885,  contained  this  item:  "We  stop 
our  press,  after  a  part  of  the  edition  is  printed,  to  publish  the  following: 
'Western  Union  Dispatch — New  York,  July  23.  1885.  General  Grant  died  at 
8  :o8  a.  m.'  " 

Saturday,  August  8,  1885.  was  observed  in  Parke  county,  and  especially 
in  Rockville,  as  well  as  generally  through  the  United  States,  in  honor  of  ex- 
President  U.  S.  Grant.  By  common  consent  all  business  took  second  place 
in  people's  minds,  in  city,  town,  village  and  country,  all  parties  and  classes 
uniting  in  public  testimonials  to  the  memory  of  General  Grant,  as  he  was  best 
known.  Rockville  had  serxices  not  soon  to  be  forgotten  by  the  younger  gen- 
eration. It  was  stated  at  the  time  that  perhaps  no  town  of  the  size  in  all  the 
broad  land  observed  the  day  so  worthily  and  well  as  did  Rockville.  Before 
noon,  a  large  concourse  of  people  was  on  the  streets;  the  proprieties  of  the 
occasion  (that  being  the  funeral  day  of  Grant  in  New  York  City)  were  well 
preserved.  Soon  after  noon  all  business  was  suspended.  The  Opera  House 
Band  took  its  place  in  the  west  balcony  of  the  building  and  played  a  sweet 
and  ]ilaintive  air,  which  music  touched  the  heart  of  every  one  in  hearing, 
more  than  all  the  words  spoken  on  that  occasion  could  possibly  have  done. 
The  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic  issued  from  their  hall  and  marched  in  step 


with  the  music  to  the  opera  house,  faced  outwardly  and  gave  the  order, 
"Salute  the  dead,"  then  dispersed  among  the  audience.  The  body  of  the 
house  was  completely  filled  and  a  portion  of  the  large  gallery.  Chaplain  Rev. 
B.  P.  Runkle  offered  prayer,  solemn  and  impressive ;  Hon.  Alfred  F.  White, 
chairman,  announced  the  order  of  exercises;  Capt.  John  H.  Lindley  read  the 
memorial  address;  Hon.  Thomas  N.  Rice  followed  with  the  regular  oration. 
It  will  long  rank  as  among  the  local  classics.  He  traced  thoughtfully  and 
tenderly  Grant's  every  step  from  Cadet  Grant  and  Lieutenant  Grant,  to  the 
great  commander  over  millions  of  men.  Next  Capt.  Frank  M.  Howard 
spoke  in  behalf  of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic,  emphasizing  the  "uncon- 
ditional surrender"  and  "fight  it  out  on  this  line  if  it  takes  all  summer"  theories 
of  Grant,  and  wound  up  his  remarks  by  these  eloquent  words :  '  'But,  we 
comrades  would  love  to  believe  that  since  the  day  he  died,  somewhere  on 
the  Elysian  plains,  the  boys  each  night  have  bivouacs  around  the  old  com- 
mander. The  G.  A.  R.  salutes  the  dead  comrade  and  general !  Men  shall 
not  look  upon  your  like  again.  Old  Soldier,  hail  and  farewell !" 

John  H.  Beadle  spoke  of  Grant  as  a  citizen.  Dr.  W.  H.  Gillum  was  in- 
vited to  represent  the  Confederate  army.  He  praised  Grant  for  his  military 
bearing  and  tact,  and  also  for  his  great  magnanimity  in  his  final  hour  of 
victory  over  the  South.  He  said  that  in  his  humane  conduct  that  he  had  ex- 
celled all  other  commanders,  either  North  or  South.  It  was  not  blood  and 
revenge  Grant  worked  for,  but  peace  and  prosperity,  and  for  these  he  con- 
tended and  finally  won  over  the  "Lost  Cause"  which  the  speaker  fought  for 
in  the  Confederate  ranks. 



At  Rockville,  the  county  seat  of  Parke  county,  is  located  the  Indiana 
State  Tuberculosis  Hospital,  and  while  it  is  a  state  institution,  it  is  deemed 
a  proper  subject  to  be  placed  in  the  annals  of  Parke  county.  From  facts  ob- 
tained from  the  late  Dr.  H.  B.  Leavitt,  the  popular,  talented  and  efficient  su- 
perintendent, whose  death  was  chronicled  this  autumntime,  and  from  other 
sources,  the  following  may  be  relied  upon  as  the  history  of  this  institution 
to  date  of  November,  1912 : 

After  prolonged  efforts  on  the  part  of  the  state  health  authorities,  who 
had  repeatedly  shown  the  necessity  of  a  state  tuberculosis  hospital,  the  Legis- 
lature of  1905  passed  a  resolution  authorizing  the  Governor  to  appoint  a 
committee  to  investigate  the  need  of  such  an  institution,  and  report  their 
findings  and  conclusions  to  the  next  Legislature.  The  committee  was  ap- 
pointed and  after  a  proper  investigation  it  made  a  report  to  the  Legislature 
in  1907,  recommending  that  the  state  of  Indiana  needed  a  tuberculosis  hos- 
pital and  that  two  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars  be  appropriated  for 
that  purpose,  but  the  Legislature  only  appropriated  enough  to  purchase  a  site 
and  authorized  the  Governor  to  appoint  a  commission  to  locate  and  purchase 
a  site.  The  committee  was  constituted  as  follows:  J.  N.  Babcock,  Topeka; 
Dr.  Henry  McClure,  Indianapolis;  Benjamin  F.  Bennett,  Greensburg;  Isaac 
R.  Strouse,  Rockville;  W.  S.  Holman,  Aurora.  This  committee  of  five  in- 
spected twenty  sites  in  this  state  and  hospitals  in  other  states,  and  finally 
selected  and  purchased  five  hundred  and  four  acres,  three  miles  east  of  Rock- 
land is  rich  bottom  ground,  while  the  rest  is  rolling  high  pasture  and  woods! 
The  commission  made  a  report  to  the  Governor  and  Legislature  in  1909  and 
asked  for  an  appropriation  of  three  hundred  thousand  dollars  for  the  pur- 
pose of  erecting  a  hospital  which  would  accommodate  two  hundred  and  sixty 
patients,  but  the  Legislature  appropriated  only  one  hundred  and  thirty  thou- 
sand dollars.  The  commission  then  proceeded  to  commence  the  erection  of 
a  hospital,  first,  an  administration  buildisg,  a  power  house  to  the  rear,  which 
furnishes  steam  heat,  water  and  electric  lights  to  the  institution.  Next  to  this 
is  a  steam  laundry,  with  all  modern  equipment.  On  the  sides  of  the  adminis- 
tration building  are  two  pavilions,  one  for  men  and  one  for  women,  connected 


with  the  administration  building  by  means  of  two  covered  corridors.  The 
ward  buildings  contain  forty  rooms  each,  with  bath  rooms,  sun  parlors,  diet 
kitchens  and  nurses"  rooms.  The  upstairs  and  downstairs  porches  run  the 
entire  length  of  the  building  except  where  the  sun  parlors  run  through  them 
in  the  middle.  The  rooms  upstairs  are  equipped  with  so-called  Indiana  con- 
vertible sleepers,  a  device  used  in  no  other  state  institution  in  this  country. 
Each  room  is  equipped  with  a  bed,  dresser  and  chairs.  A  corridor  at  the  rear 
of  the  rooms  runs  the  entire  length  of  the  pavilion  and  connects  with  the 
glazed  corridor  to  the  administration  building.  The  glazed  corridors  from 
the  pavilions  to  the  main  buildings  have  proved  indispensable  during  cold 
winter  weather.  The  administration  building  contains  on  the  first  floor  busi- 
ness office,  superintendent's  office,  examining  room,  operating  room,  X-ray 
room,  staff  dining  room  and  board  of  trustees'  room.  The  second  and  third 
floors  furnish  the  quarters  for  the  staff  and  employes.  The  laboratory,  dark 
room  and  store  rooms  are  located  in  the  basement.  In  the  rear  of  the  admin- 
istration building  are  the  kitchen  and  patients'  dining  rooms,  and  in  the 
basement  the  ice  plant  and  cold  storage  rooms,  bake  shop  and  the  employes' 
dining  room. 

The  commission  then  made  a  final  report  to  Governor  Marshall  and 
turned  the  hospital  and  site  over  to  him.  The  Go\'ernor  accepted  it  on  the 
part  of  the  state  and  issued  a  proclamation  October  31,  1910,  and  appointed 
Dr.  Henry  Moore,  of  Indianapolis,  Isaac  R.  Strouse,  of  Rockville,  and  Dr. 
O.  V.  Schuman,  of  Columbia  City,  as  trustees  to  manage  the  institution.  This 
board  qualified  under  the  law  and  held  their  first  meeting  December  i,  1910. 
The  Legislature  of  1911  made  an  appropriation  for  maintenance  of  the  in- 
stitution for  two  and  one-half  years  at  the  rate  of  nine  dollars  per  week  for 
each  patient,  also  made  a  specific  appropriation  to  stock  and  equip  the  farm, 
build  a  roadway  to  the  hospital  and  completely  equip  the  wards,  administra- 
tion building,  power  house  and  laundry.  They  also  made  an  appropriation 
of  five  thousand  dollars  to  erect  ten  houses  for  fifty  patients.  After  the 
population  of  the  hospital  had  reached  one  hundred  patients,  the  trustees  ad- 
vertised in  various  journals  and  received  more  than  thirty  applicants  from 
eight  different  states  for  the  position  of  superintendent.  After  due  consid- 
eration and  examination.  Dr.  H.  B.  Leavitt,  of  Worthington,  Indiana,  was 
elected  as  superintendent,  and  Dr.  W.  A.  Gekler,  of  the  Winyah  Sanitarium, 
of  Asheville,  North  Carolina,  was  selected  as  head  physician  of  the  hospital, 
which  was  opened  for  patients  April  i,  191 1,  with  one  patient,  a  staff  con- 
sisting of  superintendent,  head  physician  and  matron  and  the  following  em- 


ployes :  Two  trained  nurses,  an  electrician,  engineer  and  fireman,  laundry- 
man  and  assistant,  baker,  head  cook,  two  waitresses  in  dining  room,  dish 
washer  and  two  domestics,  a  farmer,  dairyman,  carpenter  and  teamster.  The 
force  has  been  added  to  from  time  to  time  as  necessity  demanded. 

The  operating  and  treatment  room,  which  has  since  been  more  fully 
equipped,  serves  for  the  minor  surgery  and  dressings,  and  various  other  treat- 
ments, such  as  nose  and  throat.  The  examining  room,  which  is  the  office  of 
the  head  physician,  contains  the  chart  records  which  are  kept  for  all  the 
patients.  The  chart  system  at  the  hospital  is  really  a  composite  of  the  best 
systems  in  use  in  other  public  and  private  institutions  of  the  country,  and  is 
second  to  none  in  the  point  of  completeness  and  amount  of  information  kept 
on  file. 

During  the  first  year  of  its  existence  this  hospital  discharged  thirty 
patients  as  cured ;  that  is,  every  sign  of  acti\-ity  in  the  lungs  on  physical  exam- 
ination had  disappeared  and  the  general  condition  equal  to  or  better  than  that 
during  usual  health.  This  classification  of  cured  patients  is  somewhat  more 
exacting  and  less  fa^■oral3le  for  statistics  than  that  of  many  other  institutions, 
but  is  also  much  more  reliable  and  trustworthy.  The  hospital  has  not  been 
opened  long  enough  to  ascertain  the  percentage  of  relapses  among  these  cured 
cases.  The  number  of  those  in  whom  the  disease  has  been  arrested  is  about  the 
same  as  those  cured.  Many  of  these  arrested  cases  have,  bv  taking  care  of 
themselves  at  home,  resulted  in  cures.  The  term  "arrested  case"  is  applied  to 
those  who  no  longer  present  any  of  the  symptoms  of  the  disease  and  whose 
general  condition  is  normal,  but  in  whose  chests  there  are  still  some  slight 
signs  of  activity.  Ver\'  fe^v  patients  who  have  remained  in  the  institution 
more  than  a  week  or  two  have  failed  to  show  improvement  as  manifested  in 
subsidence  of  symptoms  and  gains  in  weight  and  strength.  As  is  to  be  ex- 
pected, a  number  of  patients  have  been  admitted  to  the  hospital  who  simply 
refused  to  stay  any  length  of  time  and,  of  course,  showed  no  brilliant  results. 
The  average  gain  in  weight  among  those  who  gain  is  over  ten  pounds,  while 
the  average  loss  is  about  three  pounds.  In  addition  to  the  physical  benefits 
the  patients  derive  from  their  stay  at  the  hospital,  each  one  of  them  gets  a 
first-hand  object  lesson  in  personal  cleanliness  and  careful  and  proper  dis- 
posal of  sputum.  They  are,  by  means  of  pamphlets  and  lectures,  given  all 
the  information  possible  concerning  the  disease  so  as  to  be  of  benefit  to  those 
about  them  upon  their  return  home  in  an  educational  way.  The  law  govern- 
ing the  institution  requires  that  only  incipient  cases  be  admitted  for  treat- 
ment, but  it  is  often  hard  to  draw  the  line  between  incipient  and  moderately 
advanced  cases.    It  has  been  the  policy  of  the  institution  to  accept  all  thpse  in 


whom  a  cure  or  at  least  decided  improvement  has  seemed  to  be  possible  re- 
gardless of  the  amount  of  lung  involvement.  Advanced  cases,  in  which  the 
disease  is  limited  to  one  side  only  can  be  treated  b}'  some  means  of  artificial 
pneumothorax  and  if  not  cured,  at  least  decidedly  improved,  but  there  are 
many  cases  which  cannot  be  accepted. 

Isaac  Strouse,  of  Rockville,  editor  of  the  Tribune,  abo\e  named  as  one 
of  the  original  committee  to  select  a  site  for  this  hospital,  and  who  really 
had  more  to  do  with  the  final  selection  at  Rockville  than  any  other  member 
of  the  committee,  is  now  a  trustee  of  the  institution  and  since  the  death  of 
Dr.  Leavitt,  has  had  active  management  of  the  institution.  The  people  of 
Parke  county  will  owe  a  debt  of  gratitude  that  years  cannot  repay,  for  the 
services  Mr.  Strouse  has  been  able  to  render  them  in  the  matter.  Since 
the  death  of  Dr.  Leavitt,  Mrs.  Leavitt  has  been  appointed  matron  of  the  in- 
stitution, an  appointment  worthily  bestowed. 



Parke  county  was  organized  in  1821.  Rockville  was  laid  out  in  1824 
and  settled  as  the.  county  seat  permanently  that  year  and  received  its  name 
from  the  granite  bowlders  thereabouts.  Gen.  Arthur  Patterson  and  Judge 
McCall  donated  twenty  acres  of  land,  Aaron  Hand  twenty  and  Andrew  Ray 
forty  acres,  on  which  the  public  square  and  present  business  houses  are  lo- 
cated, in  1823-4,  when  a  native  forest  vi'as  cut  from  the  town  site  and  Andrew 
Ray  built  the  first  house,  a  log  cabin.  In  1825  the  town  had  between  five  and 
six  hundred  population. 

After  Rockville  had  reached  its  townhood,  the  first  persons  to  come  in 
were  Gen.  Arthur  Patterson  and  Judge  James  B.  McCall.  They  had  just 
arrived  and  fairly  got  settled  as  the  platting  was  accomplished.  McCall  was 
a  surveyor  of  land.  These  two  men  erected  the  first  business  house,  a  large 
one-story  frame,  situated  on  the  southwest  corner  of  the  Square,  where  now 
stands  the  Presbyterian  churcji.  Some  years  later  it  was  raised  to  a  two-story 
structure.  General  Patterson  was  a  man  of  polished  manners,  very  energetic 
and  strong-willed;  he  was  the  life  of  the  town,  and  its  progress  was  largely 
due  to  his  untiring  energies.  He  was  the  father  of  Judge  Patterson,  of 
Terre  Haute.  McCall,  his  partner,  was  a  surveyor  and  lawyer,  but  gave  no 
attention  to  either  profession  while  residing  in  Rockville.  He  died  by  his  own 
hand,  at  Vincennes.  In  1826  about  a  dozen  families  came  in,  but  the  town 
grew  slowly.  In  addition  to  those  named,  were  John  Ashpaw,  Jeremiah 
Ralston,  Wallace  Ray,  the  Lockwoods  and  Dr.  Leonard  and  Dr.  McDonald. 
The  number  was  increased  by  James  and  Robert  McEwen,  who  came  in 
March  and  at  once  put  in  their  tannery,  the  first  in  the  county,  aside  from 
that  of  Caleb  Williams,  who  located  in  1821.  James  Strain,  Sr.,  a  tanner  by 
trade,  came  in  March,  1824,  and  went  to  work  with  Williams,  but  in  a  few 
years  bought  the  machinery  of  the  tannery  and  moved  to  Rockville.  Both 
finally  run  down  and  were  little  used  after  1850.  In  a  couple  of  years  the  large 
trade  carried  on  by  Patterson  and  McCall  attracted  other  business  men  to 
Rockville.  Before  1830  Duncan  Darroch,  John  R.  Marshall,  John  Sunder- 
land and  Persius  Harris  were  all  engaged  in  merchandising  here.  Harris 
was  a  Campbellite  minister.     Marshall  and  Darroch   were  in  trade  on  the 


south  side  as  early  as  the  winter  of  1826-7.  Sunderland's  store  was  on  the 
southwest  corner  of  the  Square,  on  the  south  side  of  High  street.  Andrew 
Foote  opened  a  store  soon  after  and  was  in  trade,  for  many  years.  Wallace 
Ray  was  the  first  postmaster  and  was  succeeded  by  jMatthew  Noel,  who  was 
an  early  justice  of  the  peace.  Scott  Noel  came  in  1826  and  held  many  public 
positions,  being  postmaster  many  years.  Jonas  Randall  came  from  Ohio  in 
1829  and  erected  the  old  Hungerford  buildings.  James  Pyles  was  an  early 
blacksmith.  In  1832  he  was  keeping  hotel.  In  1827  there  were  two  cabinet 
shops — small  afifairs — and  there  the  household  furniture  such  as  had  to  be 
purchased  was  made  and  repairing  done;  also  the  few  cofBns  needed  were 
made  and  trimmed  in  these  shops.  Not  long  after  1830  James  McCampbell 
and  McMurty  started  in  business.  These  men  were  merchants  and  pork- 
packers,  and  carried  on  a  large  trade  with  New  Orleans.  The  next  business 
men  were  Walter  C.  Donaldson  and  Erastus  M.  Benson,  who  opened  a  store. 
Tyler  S.  Baldwin,  who,  with  Judge  Bryant,  had  been  reared  among  the 
Shakers  in  Kentucky,  was  also  a  prominent  business  man.  George  W.  Sill 
and  James  Depew  first  clerked  for  Baldwin,  but  later  became  his  partners. 
Sill  arrived  here  in  1833,  and  continued  in  trade  for  twenty-five  years.  It  is 
related  that  his  "words  were  softer  than  oil."  In  1836  Jeremiah  Ralston  was 
conducting  a  store  in  Rockville.  Adamson  &  Robinson  and  Levi  Sidwell  all 
settled  about  1836.  The  last  named,  in  company  with  Mr.  Rosebraugh, 
opened  the  first  drug  store,  Robert  Allen  &  McMurty  being  in  trade  about 
this  date  also.  The  firm  of  A.  M.  Houston  &  Company  was  composed  of 
General  Alexander,  M.  Houston,  William  P.  Mulhallen  and  Pembroke  S. 
Cornelius.  Houston's  partners  were  all  young  men,  but  he  was  a  noted  char- 
acter in  Rockville  and  community.  He  had  been  a  general  in  the  militia 
and  served  under  Jackson  in  one  of  the  Indian  campaigns.  He  was  a  South- 
ern gentleman,  who  had  not  altogether  escaped  Southern  ways  and  vices.  In 
his  early  days  he  had  been  a  gambler,  and  had  made  and  retained  a  good  for- 
tune, and  lived  in  elegance  and  ease.  Later  in  life  he  was  converted  to  the 
Christian  faith  and  united  with  the  Presbyterian  church,  in  which  he  was  ever 
afterward  an  active  member. 

The  first  millinery  store  in  Rockville  was  established  by  Mrs.  Lucinda 
Bradley,  about  1837:  her  husband  was  a  carpenter.  Mrs.  Lucy  Smith  and 
Mrs.  Watson  each  had  shops  a  little  later.  Another  pioneer  was  Gabriel 
Houghman,  who  came  in  from  Butler  county,  Ohio,  in  1830,  settling  a  half 
mile  south  of  town,  but  in  1837  moved  to  the  town  and  engaged  in  mer- 
chandising in  the  firm  of  Allen,  Noel  &  Company :  he  soon  bought  Allen  out. 
For  twelve  ye:\v<  he  lield   ])iili'ic  offices,  first  as  deputy  sheriff,   then  county 


assessor,  sheriff  three  years,  and  in  1850  was  elected  to  the  Legislature.  At 
that  date  he  bought  the  Rockville  House,  on  the  northeast  corner  of  the 
Square,  where  later  the  Rice  block  was  erected. 

In  1841  J.  M.  Nichols  settled  in  Rockville  and  embarked  in  the  tinning 
business,  his  being  the  second  establishment  of  the  kind  in  town,  the  first  tin 
shop  being  that  of  Diocletian  Cox,  who  had  left  before  Mr.  Nichols  went  into 
business.  At  a  little  later  period  came  he  who  was  later  known  as  Gen. 
George  K.  Steele.  He  did  a  large  business  and  was  prominent  as  banker, 
politician  and  railroad  promoter.  Among  the  most  universally  admired  and 
excellent  business  men  that  early  Rockville  ever  had  was  Isaac  Jarvis  Silli- 
man,  a  New  Englander,  who  also  was  in  the  milling  business,  an  account  of 
which  is  given  elsewhere  in  this  work. 

Just  at  the  close  of  the  Civil  war,  a  woolen  factory  was  put  in  operation 
by  Sill  &  McEwen.  at  least  they  started  it,  when  one  of  the  firm  died,  after 
which  Nichols  &  Thompson  completed  it  and  operated  it  until  about  1875, 
when  it  ceased  to  longer  pay  interest  on  the  investment.  The  machinery  was 
mostly  sold  and  the  factory  abandoned.  The  factory  was  a  three-story  build- 
ing, forty  b}'  eighty  feet  in  size.  The  property  cost  twenty-eight  thousand 

In  1829,  Samuel  X.  Baker,  from  Kentucky,  settled  on  the  Leatherwood 
and  started  a  pottery,  in  which  he  made  red-ware  till  1833,  then  removed  to 
Rockville  and  built  another  pottery,  which  he  operated  until  his  death  in 
i860.  It  was  continued  by  his  sons,  James  H.,  Samuel  and  Charles,  till  1873, 
when  the  last  mentioned  started  one  in  the  northeast  part  of  Rockville,  where 
for  several  years  he  turned  out  twenty-four  kilns  of  ware  each  year,  averag- 
ing upwards  of  forty  thousand  gallons  of  earthenware.  In  1880  the  old  one 
was  producing  about  twenty-four  thousand  gallons  per  year.  Stoneware, 
such  as  crocks,  jugs,  \ases  and  flower  pots,  were  there  made  in  large  quan- 

The  town  has  always  been  noted  for  its  excellent  saw-mills  and,  while 
the  forests  are  fast  disajjpearing  from  Indiana,  there  are  still  many  fine  trees 
being  annually  converted  into  lumber  at  the  mills  in  Rockville.  The  business 
interests  in  Rockvillle,  a  third  of  a  century  ago,  included  these :  Four  gen- 
eral stores,  one  clothing  house,  three  groceries,  two  boot  and  shoe  stores,  one 
harness  shop,  one  provision  store,  three  furniture  stores,  and  undertakers 
shops,  two  jewelry  stores,  three  agricultural  and  hardware  stores,  three  grain 
warehouses,  two  newspapers,  two  carriage  and  two  wagon  shops,  two  black- 
smith shops,  two  .saw  and  planing  mills,  two  hotels,  two  boarding  houses,  three 
millinery  stores,  two  hanks,  one  photograph  gallery,    four  shoemakers,  one 



repair  and  machine  shop,  three  saloons,  two  Hvery  stables,  two  brick  yards, 
one  tile  factory,  two  potteries,  and  several  loan  and  insurance  agencies. 


From  the  pen  of  J.  H.  Beadle,  who  wrote  on  Rockville  in  1880,  we  take 
the  liberty  to  quote  the  following  concerning  early  conflagrations  in  the  town 
of  Rockville: 

"Rockville  has  been  terribly  scourged  by  fire.  It  had  not  suffered  more 
than  an  average  percentage  of  loss  from  this  cause  until  1871,  when  three 
conflagrations  in  that  year  burned  out  three  sides  of  the  public  square.  The 
first  occurred  on  the  night  of  July  4th,  on  the  south  side.  The  buildings  were 
all  wooden  and,  with  the  exception  of  the  one  on  the  southeast  corner,  rook- 
eries ;  but  to  some  the  loss  was  not  less  severe  on  this  account,  though  the 
aggregate  was  inconsiderable,  when  compared  with  the  later  fires,  especially 
the  one  on  the  north  side.  This  last  took  place  on  the  night  of  September 
17th.  Starting  in  the  old  hotel  on  the  northeast  corner,  it  swept  everything 
clean  to  the  National  Bank.  Here  was  concentrated  a  greater  part  of  the 
business  and  of  course  here  was  the  greatest  loss.  Several  of  the  best  brick 
buildings  in  the  town  were  in  this  row.  The  estimated  loss,  after  the  insur- 
ance was  paid,  was  about  sixty  thousand  dollars.  The  east  side  was  con- 
sumed on  the  night  of  December  8th,  seven  brick  front  rooms  being  destroyed, 
besides  less  valuable  property.  The  old  hotel  on  the  west  side,  where  the  new 
one  is  now  building,  was  burned  at  another  time.  The  south  side  fire  was 
thought  to  have  been  accidentally  caused  by  a  crowd  of  drunken  men ;  but 
the  others  were  supposed  to  have  been  incendiary'. 

"The  tov.n  has  never  had  an  adequate  fire  apparatus.  It  has  a  small  engine 
which  is  more  effective  in  relaxing  vigilance  and  promoting  fancied  security 
than  otherwise.  So  far  as  the  appearance  of  the  town  is  concerned,  these  fires 
have  been  an  advantage ;  they  made  room  for  large,  tasteful  edifices  which 
now  cover  the  ground." 

The  last  great  fire  was  that  of  the  night  of  November  16,  1906,  when 
the  National  Bank  block  burned,  causing  a  loss  of  thirty  thousand  dollars. 
The  Terre  Haute  and  Bloomingdale  fire  companies  came  to  the  rescue,  but 
too  late  to  save  the  property.  This  building  had  the  old  National  Hall  on  one 
of  its  floors  and  was  a  fine  auditorium.  Dr.  Goss  lost  his  modern  physician 
and  surgeon's  office  in  this  block  and  he  lost  expensive  apparatus,  with  little 
insurance  on  same.  The  city  now  has  a  better  protection  against  fires  than  it 
has  ever  before  had. 


The  old  opera  house  in  Rockville  was  dedicated  June  9,  1883,  by  John 
E.  Owens.  It  was  built  by  the  Rockville  Opera  House  Company,  at  a  cost 
of  thirty-five  thousand  dollars,  and  seated  eight  hundred  people. 

In  the  autumn  of  19 12  the  new  and  strictly  modern  opera  house  was 
opened  to  the  play -loving  public.  It  was  built  by  a  stock  company  at  a  cost 
of  twenty  thousand  dollars  and  easily  seats  eight  hundred  presons.  The 
architect  was  W.  H.  Floyd,  Terre  Haute;  builder,  Edgar  Jerome,  Rockville. 
The  stockholders  are  F.  H.  Nichols,  president;  Frank  M.  Adams,  vice-presi- 
dent; Allen  T.  Brockway,  treasurer;  George  L.  Laney,  secretary;  Howard 
Maxwell,  John  S.  McFadden,  Sidwell  Alden,  S.  F.  Max  Puett,  J.  M.  Johns 
and  D.  M.  Carlisle.  The  committee  on  building  was  Howard  Maxwell,  D.  M. 
Carlisle  and  J.  M.  Johns. 


For  thirty  years  Rockville  was  an  unincorporated  place,  but  in  July, 
1854,  voted  to  incorporate,  and  the  first  election  of  officers  resulted  as  follows : 
Board,  Harvey  L.  Hoss,  D.  W.  Stary,  E.  S.  Terry,  Isaac  J.  Silliman,  James 
H.  Sanderson;  clerk,  F.  W.  Dinwiddle. 

The  records  are  not  in  suitable  condition  to  give  lists  complete.  The 
1912  officers  are;  Board,  H.  E.  Marks,  president;  William  F.  Graham,  Will- 
iam B.  Thompson,  E.  J.  Coleman,  B.  J.  Hunnicutt ;  clerk,  William  T.  Patton ; 
treasurer,  F.  H.  Nichols;  marshal,  Joseph  Boardman. 


The  postoffice  at  Rockville  is  a  third-class  office.  The  present  postmas- 
ter, J.  H.  Spencer,  was  commissioned  March  i,  1906,  and  succeeded  I.  L. 
Wimmer,  who  had  served  one  term,  while  the  present  incumbent  is  now 
serving  on  his  second  temi.  During  his  administration  the  office  has  handled 
over  twelve  hundred  pieces  of  registered  mail  matter  and  not  a  single  loss  in 
the  entire  time.  There  are  now  seven  rural  free  deliveries  going  out  from 
this  office.  The  last  two  years,  ending  March  30,  1912,  the  business  of  this 
office  has  been  in  excess  of  seven  thousand  dollars  each  year.  Two  assistants 
and  the  postmaster  do  the  work  of  the  office.  The  postal  savings  department 
of  the  Rockville  office  was  instituted  November  2,  1911,  and  has  not  thus 
far  proved  to  be  a  large  depository,  but  is  increasing  some.  While  its  safety 
is  acknowledged,  the  low  rate  of  interest  pre\-ents  many  from  depositing. 



After  several  years  of  discussion,  and  with  some  opposition,  an  election 
was  called  to  determine  whether  Rockville  should  be  supplied  with  a  system 
of  water  works  that  would  make  her  on  an  equal  footing  with  other  towns. 
Finally,  on  May  i,  1893,  such  an  election  was  held  and  the  result  was  that 
there  were  found  two  hundred  and  eighty-three  voting  for  the  measure  as 
against  one  hundred  and  fourteen  opposition  votes.  September  5,  1894,  a 
contract  was  let  to  sink,  within  the  town  limits,  a  six-inch  well  of  the  tubular 
type.  In  all,  three  such  wells  were  sunk,  but  a  sufficient  flow  of  water  was  not 
found  and  the  plan  was  abandoned  and  one  was  put  down  in  the  Little  Rac- 
coon bottoms,  on  the  farm  belonging  to  S.  C.  Puett,  where  a  heavy  flow  of 
pure  water  was  obtained  at  the  depth  of  twenty-five  feet.  July  31,  1895,  the 
town  board  advertised  for  plans  and  specifications  to  erect  water  works,  and 
on  September  12,  1895,  nine  bids  were  opened  for  the  construction  of  the 
plant.  None  of  these  bids  was  accepted,  however.  Public  opinion  was  un- 
settled. The  next  move  was  to  construct  water  works  and  light  plant,  com- 
bined, and  this  plan  was  carried  into  effect  in  August,  1903.  There  had  been 
an  electric  lighting  plant  owned  by  private  capital  in  Rockville  for  several 
years  and  this  the  town  of  Roclc\'ille  purchased  and  combined  the  water 
works  and  electric  light  plant  in  one,  since  which  both  have  given  good  and 
profitable  service  to  the  citizens  and  taxpayers.  The}-  now  have  forty-nine 
hydrants,  situated  at  \arious  points  in  the  town;  a  high  stand-pipe  and  tower 
which  throws  water  to  a  good  height  by  direct  pressure  of  the  pumps.  Im- 
provements at  the  plant  and  about  the  town  are  being  made  the  present  year. 

A  volunteer  fire  company  is  organized  and  with  the  water  works  system, 
aided  by  a  chemical  engine  and  hook  and  ladder  appliance,  the  present  fire 
chief,  L.  W.  Brown,  is  enabled  to  do  good  service  at  fires.  The  water  supply, 
at  present,  is  derived  from  deep  wells  on  the  Raccoon  bottoms,  two  and  a  half 
miles  east  from  the  town.  There  is  also  a  well  at  the  plant  in  town,  which 
can  be  relied  upon  in  case  of  fires.  The  water  at  the  big  well,  east  of  town, 
is  affording  an  abundance  of  the  purest  water. 


The  cemetery  at  Rockville  has  been  in  use  since  1824.  Up  to  1883  there 
had  been  buried  within  this  sacred  enclosure  over  two  thousand  persons.  The 
land  consisted  of  a  six-acre  tract.  The  first  to  be  buried  there  was  a  child  of 
Pioneer  Hann ;  she  was  buried  on  her  father's  own  land,  a  part  of  his  estate. 


and  of  which  he  soon  gave  the  public  an  acre,  including  the  spot  where  the 
dear  one  was  interred,  thus  making  a  start  towards  the  present  cemetery. 
The  grounds  are  just  to  the  southeast  of  the  city  proper.  Up  to  1826  there 
had  been  only  five  burials  there,  in  the  two  years  of  use.  No  record  is  found 
back  of  1839.  John  Alexander  commenced  his  duties  as  sexton  of  this  ceme- 
tery in  1843  and  up  to  1883  nine  hundred  graves  had  been  dug  by  him.  There 
the  strong  man  and  the  frail  woman,  the  infant  and  the  aged,  had  been  put 
beneath  the  sod.  Civilian  and  soldier  had  there  been  buried,  including  many 
of  the  Civil  war  soldiers,  and  one  continental  soldier — Jesse  Duncan— who 
fought  at  Guilford  Court  House,  whose  remains  lay  on  the  east  end  of  lot 
No.  147.  iVIany  beautiful  family  monuments  and  memorial  piles  now  grace 
this  cemetery,  which  is  kept  in  fine  condition.  With  the  return  of  each  spring 
time,  and  Memorial  Day,  the  graves  are  visited  and  the  green  carpeting 
moistened  by  the  tear-drops  of  the  friends  of  those  who  lie  there,  sleeping  their 
last  sleep.  Of  recent  years  many  improvements  have  been  made  on  these  lots 
and  today  the  passerby  recognizes  a  Christian  community,  for  no  other  so 
carefully  watches  the  resting  places  of  their  departed  dead. 

There  have  been  at  least  three  additions  made  to  this  "Silent  City,"  but 
in  all  only  about  eleven  acres  are  platted,  and  but  about  eight  of  this  has  been 
occupied  with  graves. 


Milling  is  one  of  the  earliest  industries  in  almost  any  community,  and 
here  in  Rockville  the  flouring  mill  industry  was  first  established  in  1853-4,  by 
a  New  Englander  named  Isaac  Jarvis  Silliman,  who  was  a  pioneer  miller  at 
Bridgton  and  Armiesburg,  where  he  was  a  partner  of  General  Patterson,  both 
in  milling,  merchandising  and  distilling.  About  the  date  last  mentioned,  he 
came  to  Rockville  and  entered  into  a  partnership  with  O.  J.  Innis  and  J.  M. 
Nichols.  In  a  few  years  Innis  retired,  and  Silliman  and  Nichols  purchased 
the  mill.  Early  in  i860,  William  M.  Thompson  and  James  H.  McEwen 
bought  Silliman's  interest  in  both  mill  and  store  property.  A  few  years  later 
Silliman  died,  greatly  regretted  by  the  community,  at  the  age  of  seventy  or 
more.  In  1864  the  mill  was  sold  to  Eiglehart  and  Brothers,  of  Evansville, 
and  finall}'  went  into  the  hands  of  the  national  bank  here,  and  it  was  burned 
in  1884.  After  this  the  citizens  were  greatly  in  need  of  such  an  industry  as  a 
good  flouring  mill,  and  then  commenced  the  remarkable  history  and  career, 
in  Rockville,  of  the  Rohm  family,  three  generations  of  which  have  been  con- 
nected with  flour-making  in  this  section  of  Indiana.  In  April,   1893,  E.  H., 


Calvin  and  George  W.  Rohm,  sons  of  Jacob  Rohm,  who  had  commenced  mill- 
ing at  the  age  of  ten  years  for  his  father,  began  the  construction  of  a  modern 
flour  mill  at  Rockville,  on  the  site  of  the  old  woolen  factory,  where  plenty 
of  good  water  and  other  conveniences  were  at  hand, — the  site  of  the  present 
roller  mills, — and  made  their  first  flour  on  New^  Year"s  day,  1894.  It  is  a 
brick  structure,  with  metal  roof,  and  is  grouped  with  the  power  house,  ware- 
house and  roomy  office.  As  far  back  as  1896  this  mill  employed  eight  men. 
It  is  still  running  at  full  capacity  and  is  known  far  and  near  for  its  superior 
grades  of  flour. 

The  only  other  important  industries  in  Rockville  are  its  two  quite  ex- 
tensive lumber  mills  and  wood-working  machinery,  the  one  being  the  exten- 
sive works  of  the  Ferguson  Lumber  Company,  the  other,  Graham  &  Com- 
pany, both  of  which  firms  do  a  large  hard-lumber  milling  business. 

It  may  be  added  that  the  town  no\v  has  five  garages  in  successful  opera- 
tion, and  that  many  automobiles  are  sold  and  used  in  Parke  county. 


According  to  the  1870  United  States  census,  Adams  township  had  sev- 
enty-four colored  population,  of  which  fifty-five  resided  in  the  town  of  Rock- 
ville. The  year  after  the  Civil  war  closed — 1866 — there  was  only  one  colored 
person  in  the  town,  Alexander  Harper,  a  hatter  by  trade;  he  died  and  his 
family  went  away.  Patrick  Thomas  arrived  that  year  and  was  soon  followed 
by  Alexander  Black.  In  1870  Abram  Gaston  brought  his  family  to  Rock- 
ville from  North  Carolina;  he  accompanied  Samuel  Kirkman,  who  had  been 
back  on  a  visit ;  this  was  the  first  family  from  that  state.  In  the  colony  that 
emigrated  from  that  state  in  1872  were  Joseph  Kirkman,  Jesse  Kirkman, 
Anthony  Brower,  Jesse  Craven  and  Ransom  Coble.  By  1880  colored  people 
had  come  in  from  the  Carolinas,  Virginia  and  Tennessee  till  they  numbered 
fully  two  hundred,  many  of  whom  became  excellent  citizens  and  not  a  few 
became  well-to-do  persons,  who  seemed  to  prize  their  liberty  and  rights,  and 
they  and  their  children  have  kept  up  this  record  of  good  citizenship  until  this 
time.     They  support  a  Methodist  and  a  Baptist  church  and  a  public  school. 



Adams  township,  in  which  the  seat  of  justice  is  located,  has,  in  common 
with  others  of  Parke  county,  no  pubHc  record  showing  the  facts  connected 
with  its  organization  and  settlement,  owing  to  the  fact  that  the  records  made 
by  the  early  county  officials  were  all  burned  in  the  fire  of  November,  1833. 
Except  for  the  first  actual  settler,  there  is  abundant  proof  about  who  the  first 
settlers  were.  It  was  contended  at  the  date  of  the  old  history,  by  Walker 
Adams,  that  his  father,  James  Adams,  made  a  settlement  in  1816,  on  the 
Little  Raccoon  in  what  is  now  known  as  Adams  township.  He  further  con- 
tended that  the  township  derived  its  name  from  his  father,  all  of  which  looks 
plausible,  though  possibly  he  has  fixed  the  date  of  coming  a  little  too  early. 
However  that  may  be,  it  is  usually  granted  that  Adams  was  first  to  locate  in 
this  township,  and  that  it  was  before  1818.  There  is  no  account  of  any  others 
coming  in  prior  to  1821,  to  make  permanent  homes  for  themselves.  In  181 7 
a  colony  of  several  families  emigrated  from  Butler  county,  Ohio,  and  settled 
on  the  Big  Raccoon,  in  what  came  to  be  known  as  the  Bell  Settlement,  near 
Bridgton.  Among  those  were  Abel  Bell,  Tobias  Miller,  Solomon  Simmons, 
the  Adams  and  Webster  families.  Isaac  McCoy,  the  celebrated  Indian  mis- 
sionary, had  his  home  in  the  same  region.  A  few  years  later  Aaron  Hand, 
also  from  Ohio,  joined  this  colony.  In  the  spring  of  1821  Solomon  Simmons 
moved  and  located,  a  mile  southwest  of  Rockville.  In  the  autumn  of  the 
same  year  Aaron  Hand  came  up  from  the  Bell  settlement  and  located  on  the 
present  site  of  Rockville.  Greenberry  Ward  and  his  father,  James  Ward, 
made  a  tour  of  exploration  and  in  their  tra\els  found  Cornelius  Sunderland, 
living  on  what  in  later  years  was  known  as  the  Beadle  farm.  In  1822  came 
James  McGinnis,  settling  a  mile  and  a  half  south  of  Rockville.  Cornelius 
Sunderland  arrived  the  same  year.  Andrew  Ray  came  to  Rockville  that 
year,  early  in  the  spring,  but  was  here  the  autumn  before  and  located  his 
lands.  At  that  date  land  hunters  were  numerous  and  there  was  much  rivalry 
to  see  who  should  obtain  choice  bottom  tracts  of  bottom  lands.  A  party  con- 
sisting of  James  Glass,  John  Miller,  Jacob  Miller  and  Thomas  Wolverton, 
who  were  much  disheartened  at  not  being  able  to  secure  such  lands  as  above 
mentioned,  were  on  their  way  to  Montgomery  county  to  search  for  a  better 


choice  of  lands,  when  they  were  happily  directed  by  a  Kentuckian  to  the  "di- 
vide between  the  two  Raccoons."  Upon  examination,  the  country  pleased 
them  and  they  decided  to  locate  there,  and  were  joined  by  Tobias  Miller, 
Reuben  Webster,  Lawrence  Cox  and  a  few  more.  So  general  was  the  sat- 
isfaction at  finding  their  desires,  that  James  Kelsey  named  the  settlement 
"New  Discovery,"  and  it  is  still  spoken  of  as  such,  and  churches  and  schools 
have  been  named  for  it.  A  wonderful  rush  soon  pushed  forward  for  this 
portion  of  the  county.  The  land  office  was  soon  moved  from  Terre  Haute  to 
Crawfordsville,  and  the  route  was  dotted  all  the  way  with  newcomers'  places, 
and  smoke  from  many  cabins  greeted  the  eye.  For  the  choice  of  land  men 
took  great  chances  at  swimming  streams  and  they  rode  day  and  night,  through 
drenching  rains  and  other  fierce  storms,  often  exhausting  and  sometimes  kill- 
ing the  horses  which  bore  them.  Next  was  heard  the  sound  of  the  settler's 
axe  and  saw,  in  clearing  up  the  forest  and  making  farms.  The  crashing  of 
falling  beech,  walnut  and  sugar  trees  might  have  been  heard  on  every  hand, 
preparatory  to  the  log-heap  and  crackling  fires. 

The  spring  and  summer  of  1822  were  exceedingly  wet,  and  the  new- 
comers W'Cre  sad  and  disheartened  with  water  all  around  them,  and  mud,  mud, 
mud  at  their  feet.  They  hauled  their  grain  from  Fort  Harrison,  but  found 
other  supplies  at  Roseville.  Toward  the  close  of  the  summer  the  rain  clouds- 
passed  by  and  sunny  weather  was  present  to  greet  them.  Here  might  have 
been  seen  men  and  women  with  children  at  their  knees,  far  distant  from  their 
former  homes  and  out  of  reach  of  every  civilized  comfort,  spreading  their 
beds  and  boards  in  a  trackless  wilderness,  infested  with  venomous  reptiles 
and  wild  beasts,  voluntarily  seeking  rough  toil,  accepting  course  food,  and 
facing  all  but  famine,  yet  yielding  to  nothing  but  protracted  and  blighting  dis- 
ease and  sometimes  death.  Their  experiences  form  a  story  of  trials,  priva- 
tions and  sufferings,  and  a  picture  of  heroism  and  triumph,  which  can  never 
be  accurately  depicted  by  the  pen. 

The  Rockville  Tribttne  at  one  time  published  the  following  incident  that 
may  throw  some  light  upon  this  state  of  affairs : 

"Nancy,  wife  of  Cornelius  Sunderland,  had  been  to  her  father,  Nathan- 
iel Page's  one  afternoon  late  in  the  autumn  of  1821  or  '22,  to  borrow  a  reel. 
The  houses  were  not  more  than  half  a  mile  apart  and  as  she  was  returning 
she  strolled  along,  gathering  nuts,  buried  in  the  leaves  on  the  ground,  failing 
to  note  the  direction,  and  strangely  oblivious  of  ever\'thing  around  her,  until 
her  attention  was  arrested  by  a  sudden  darkening  of  the  sky  and  falling  of 
snow  flakes.  On  looking  up  she  discovered  that  she  had  missed  her  way, 
but,  correcting  her  course,  pressed  forward  with  all  haste,  in  the  supposed 


direction  of  her  home.  She  had  not  proceeded  far  before  she  was  filled  with 
alarm  at  finding  herself  in  a  dense  forest,  and  totally  ignorant  of  her  where- 
abouts. The  snow  was  falling  fast.  The  deep  gloom  and  grand  silence  of 
the  woods  added  to  her  painful  feelings  and  situation  and  her  fears  grew 
almost  frantic,  when  she  noticed  the  dog  that  had  accompanied  her  had  dis- 
appeared. She  searched  wildly  about  for  the  path,  shouting  every  few  steps, 
and  then  pausing  for  an  answer,  but  hearing  no  sound  but  the  beating  of  her 
own  heart.  On  and  on  she  Avandered  without  a  glimpse  of  a  single  object 
she  knew  to  relieve  her  terrified  thoughts.  Night  came  on  and  still  she 
groped  about.  The  boughs  were  now  bending  beneath  the  weight  of  falling 
snow.  At  length,  finding  that  her  traveling  and  calling  were  only  a  vain 
waste  of  strength,  and  wet,  cold,  faint  and  o\'er\vhelmed  with  despair,  she  took 
shelter  in  a  hollow  tree,  where  she  passed  the  night.  As  soon  as  daylight 
came  she  renewed  her  fruitless  endeavor  to  find  a  habitation  or  to  attract  at- 
tention by  her  cries.  As  hour  by  hour  went  by  she  continued  her  wanderings 
till  late  in  the  afternoon,  when  her  strength  was  gone  and,  benumbed  with 
cold,  she  sat  down  to  await  help  or  die. 

"When  evening  came  it  was  known  that  she  was  lost.  Her  husband, 
greatly  distressed,  spread  the  alarm  and  the  settlers  north  of  the  Big  Rac- 
coon turned  out  in  a  general  search.  By  the  middle  of  the  next  day  all  the 
Avest  part  of  the  county  was  aroused  and  had  joined  the  relief  party.  About 
sunset  John  Sunderland,  while  hunting  along  the  bluffs  of  Raccoon,  heard  a 
faint  cry,  so  faint  that  he  could  not  ascertain  the  direction,  till  several  times 
repeated  in  answer  to  his  shout.  Following  the  sound,  he  came  upon  a  human 
being  leaning  against  a  tree,  whom  he  confidently  believed  to  be  a  scjuaw.  He 
supposed  she  had  been  abandoned  or  lost  by  her  tribe,  nor  was  it  till  he  drew 
near  and  actually  touched  her,  that  he  recognized  his  sister-in-law!  Thirty 
hours  of  toil  and  suffering  had  completely  transformed  her;  her  dress  was  in 
rags,  her  voice  was  almost  gone,  and  she  was  so  chilled  that  she  could  not 
climb  upon  a  log,  and  he  had  to  lift  her  to  a  horse  and  then  hold  her  as  he 
would  a  child.  But  the  constitution  of  a  pioneer  woman  soon  brought  health 
and  she  survived  to  a  good  age,  to  be  the  mother  of  a  large  family  of  vigorous 
sons  and  handsome  daughters.  And  it  is  recorded  that,  womanlike,  slie  had 
held  onto  the  borrowed  reel,  through  all  her  wanderings." 

Other  early  settlers  outside  of  Rockville,  not  already  named,  w  ere :  Jos- 
eph Wilkinson,  who  came  from  Warren  county,  Ohio,  in  1825,  and  located 
in  New  Discovery;  James  Ward  and  son  Greenberry,  in  1826;  Nathaniel 
Page,  about  the  same  time.  By  about  1830  nearly  all  the  land,  at  least  all  of 
the  choice  tracts,  had  been  taken  up,  and  settlements  were  evenly  distributed. 


It  is  related  that  it  was  then  uncommon  to  find  a  stretch  of  country  where 
there  was  not  a  house  at  least  within  two  miles  of  another.  The  Indians  had 
nearly  all  departed.  From  1825  to  1831  there  were  numerous  parts  of  tribes 
of  the  Delawares  and  Pottawatomies  left  behind  the  main  tribes  of  these 
Indians.  The  settlement  at  Rockville  is  mentioned  in  the  town  or  city  his- 
tory of  that  place,  hence  is  omitted  here.  Aside  from  the  interests  at  Rock- 
ville, the  township  is  an  agricultural  section,  now  highly  developed  and  full 
of  beautiful  farm  homes  and  a  happy,  intelligent  and  prosperous  people.  A 
table  elsewhere  gives  the  population  of  this  and  every  other  township  within 
Parke  county.  The  Educational  chapter  treats  of  the  early  and  present 
schools,  while  the  chapter  devoted  to  churches  gives  much  concerning  the 
various  branches  of  religious  work  in  Adams  township.  The  wagon  roads 
leading  into  Rockville  are  numerous  and  all  well  graveled  at  this  date,  and 
the  number  of  carriages  and  automobiles  owned  by  the  farmers  is  indeed 
wonderful,  while  the  rural  free  deliverv  of  mail  and  the  parcel  post  make  a 
net-work  of  the  township.  These  all  present  a  great  contrast  to  the  days  of 
1822,  when  the  first  stakes  were  stuck  by  the  hands  of  a  few  pioneers.  The 
valuation  of  property,  real  and  personal,  in  Adams  township  in  1912  is 
$1,250,500,  outside  the  city  of  Rockville.  Includmg  the  city,  the  valuation, 
as  per  recent  assessed  list,  is  $2,500,000.  The  19 10  United  States  census 
gave  Adams  township  (outside  town  of  Rockville)  a  population  of  1,417. 



Florida  is  the  extreme  southwestern  civil  sub-division  of  Parke  county. 
It  is  bounded  on  the  west  by  the  Wabash  river ;  on  the  north  by  Wabash  and 
Adams  township ;  on  the  east  by  Raccoon  township  and  on  the  south  by  Vigo 
county,  Indiana.  The  old  canal  runs  through  its  western  borders.  Its  towns 
and  hamlets  are  Coxville,  Rosedale,  Jessup,  Lyford,  Hudnut,  Numa,  and 
numerous  postoffices,  some  established  many  years  since,  but  abolished  upon 
the  introduction  of  the  modern  rural  route  system.  Its  area  covers  about 
forty-eight  square  miles.  Its  population  in  1880  was  1,944,  while  at  present 
(1912)  it  contains  about  3;i70  people.  In  1880  its  assessed  valuation  was 
$689,364,  in  real  estate  and  personal  amounting  to  $175,662,  as  against  a 
total  in  1912  of  $1,324,155.  Its  territory  is  watered  by  Little  and  Big  Rac- 
coon rivers.  Along  these  streams,  which  are  really  large  creeks,  and  along 
the  Wabash  river  are  the  bottoms,  stretching  more  than  a  mile  in  rich  level 
lands,  and  where  some  of  the  finest  crops  of  wheat  and  corn  are  produced 
annually.  Back  of  these  valleys  are  the  bluffs  showing  their  rocky  heads,  but 
soon  wear  down  to  a  level  country  again.  These  flats  formed  by  the  raising 
of  the  bluffs  are  almost  level,  and  at  some  remote  period,  possibly  formed  an 
island.  East  of  Rosedale,  the  country  forms  a, flat  sandy  section,  resembling 
the  prairies  of  Illinois  somewhat.  The  north  part  of  Florida  township  is 
very  rough  and  broken,  but  most  of  its  land  has  been  utilized  bv  energetic 
farmers  and  stockmen. 

The  township  was  named,  according  to  Jesse  R.  Youmans,  at  its  or- 
ganization in  the  fall  of  1821,  from  David  Loree,  a  pioneer  who  had  emi- 
grated from  such  a  named  township  in  New  York  state.  The  first  settlers 
in  this  township  are  to  be  classed  among  the  first  pioneers  within  Parke 
county.  Among  such  sturdy,  self-sacrificing  characters  may  be  recalled  John 
M.  Doty,  whose  axe  was  among  the  very  first  to  be  heard  ringing  through 
the  forests  of  the  county.  He  settled  east  of  Rosedale,  where  he  remained 
till  overtaken  by  death.  Another  was  Heniy.  a  family  well  known  in  Parke 
county,  tlirough  their  descendants,  to  this  day.  It  is  claimed  that  this  family 
settled  east  of  Rosedale  about  1816,  and  the  place  where  they  first  set  stakes. 


almost  a  century  ago,  is  still  kno\Mi  as  Henry's  Prairie.  Mr.  Henry  had  four 
sons,  John,  William,  Moses  and  Isaac.  William  died  in  Florida  township  in 
1848;  Moses  was  killed  while  en  route  to  New  Orleans  with  a  flat-boat  loaded 
with  pork.  The  forks  of  the  creek  were  settled  by  John  Adams  and  James 
and  Moses  Barnes,  from  Kentucky.  William  Evans  came  to  Florida  town- 
ship about  1820.  One  of  the  first  settlers  in  Parke  county  was  Joseph  Wal- 
ker, who  came  in  1816,  locating  on  the  bluff  in  the  southwestern  part  of  this 
township.  This  was  ever  afterwards  styled  Walker's  Bluff.  He  first  pre- 
empted a  quarter  section,  \\here  lie  built  a  log  cabin,  sixteen  In-  eighteen  feet, 
and  there  set  out  the  first  orchard  ever  planted  in  the  township.  He  also 
built  the  first  brick  house  in  the  town.  A  Mr.  Kispert  later  owned  and  occu- 
pied this  place.  In  1819  Chauncey  Rose  settled  in  the  township,  which  also 
was  the  date  of  the  building  of  the  Raccoon  Mills  on  the  stream  where  Rose- 
ville  was  afterward  built.  Rose  came  to  the  country  a  poor  man,  and  when 
he  bought  his  land  bought  it  simply  for  farming  purposes,  little  dreaming 
that  he  was  to  sell  corner  lots  from  the  tract  he  had  selected.  Other  early 
settlers  were  Messrs.  Robbins  and  Brooks,  who  were  early  factors  at  Rose- 
ville  and  carried  on  merchandising  at  that  point  many  years.  In  1820  Will- 
iam Smith  built  his  log  cabin  three-quarters  of  a  mile  to  the  south  of  Rose- 
dale,  on  Henry's  Prairie,  and  lived  there  until  1835,  when  he  erected  a 
double-log  cabin  where  Rosedale  was  later  situated.  He  who  was  usually 
styled  "Major,"  really  James  Smith,  came  in  1820,  and  has  always  been 
recognized  as  the  first  settlers  on  the  bluff  north  of  Jude  Walker's.  He  finished 
a  cabin  eighteen  by  twenty  feet,  and  became  the  owner  of  nearly  a  section  of 
land.  It  was  there  that  David  D.  Loree  made  his  home  in  the  spring  of  1820. 
He  came  from  New  York,  from  which  state  he  started  on  a  flat  boat,  accom- 
panied by  his  brother's  wife  and  her  daughter,  Minerva  (later  Mrs.  Brown). 
Capt.  Daniel  Stringham,  a  soldier  of  the  Revolutionary  war,  and  Jonathan 
Rockwell  settled  on  what  was  known  as  Yankee  street  at  about  the  same 
date.  Other  early  settlers  were  John  and  Sylvester  Sibley,  Zebina  Hovey,  the 
celebrated  pioneer  carpenter  of  this  county,  3.r\^  Hector  Smith.  An  early 
blacksmith  was  Mr.  Drure,  in  1823  on  Walker's  land.  ^Most  of  the  follow- 
ing men  were  in  Florida  prior  to  1830:  Joseph  Cahill,  David  Hix,  Samuel 
House,  John  Crabb,  Seba  H.  Case,  Peter  Pence,  Z.  Fenton,  Abraham  Laney, 
the  Rukes,  John  Steward,  the  Boatmans,  Benjamin  Dailey,  George  Baugh, 
James  Laney,  the  Kilburns,  John  Cottrell,  James  Burson,  Cephas  Fisher. 

The  township  is  now  well  developed  and  made  up  of  wealthy  and  fair- 
circumstanced  farmers.     Some  of  the  old  settlers  have  sons  and  daughters 


still  residents  of  the  township  where  their  forefathers  first  settled,  while  a 
majority  of  the  people  are  of  a  later  generation  who  came  from  other  sec- 
tions of  this  and  other  counties.  The  schools  and  churches  are  all  mentioned 
in  the  general  chapters  of  this  work,  hence  are  not  further  noted  in  this  con- 
nection. It  may  be  stated  in  passing,  that  the  pioneer  Giauncey  Rose  ven,^ 
greatly  resembled  Daniel  Webster.  He  was  a  man  of  character,  enterprise 
and  great  public  promoter  of  good  in  Parke  county. 


Florida  has  several  small  towns  and  hamlets,  including  the  following: 
Roseville,  the  first  village  in  the  county,  received  its  name  from  Chauncey 
Rose,  its  finst  settler,  who  entered  the  land  upon  which  it  stands  in  1819,  and 
soon  commenced  the  building  of  a  grist  mill  on  the  banks  of  Raccoon  creek, 
which  was  for  manjr  years  known  far  and  near  as  the  Raccoon  Mills.  A  saw- 
mill was  soon  completed  a  short  distance  above  the  flouring  mill.  He  also 
erected  a  cabin  or  two,  for  himself  and  those  who  worked  for  him,  these 
being  the  first  erected  in  the  village.  The  inill  soon  grew  to  be  one  of  great 
promise  and  drew  customers  from  a  radius  of  more  than  twenty-five  miles. 
After  many  years  the  mill  did  not  longer  produce  sufficient  flour  for  the  in- 
creasing demand,  when  another  was  constructed,  being  later  owned  and 
operated  by  Daniel  Kiblar.  The  first  store  was  run  by  Moses  Robbins,  which 
was  opened  about  the  same  date  as  the  mill.  .\t  first  the  Indians  were  the 
best  patrons,  and  Mr.  Robbins  was  by  them  called  "Old  Mohawk."  They 
brought  him  large  quantitie,-^  of  furs,  for  which  he  exchanged  to  them  cofifee, 
tobacco,  "mad  water,"  etc.  "Uncle  Moses"  kept  in  stock  everything  that  was 
called  for  by  both  wdiite  and  red  men,  and  for  many  years  drove  a  successful 
trade  and  barter,  but  finally  died  a  poor  man.  Judge  Wedding  conducted  the 
second  store  in  the  village  and  operated  it  successfully  till  lie  removed  to 
Terre  Haute.  In  1820  a  tan-yard  was  established  at  Roseville,  a  quarter  of  a 
mile  to  the  southeast  of  the  mills.  After  two  years  it  proved  a  failure  and 
was  abandoned.  A  distillery  wa.s  also  thought  necessar}-  and  t)ne  was  built 
at  the  foot  of  the  bluff,  and  there  man}-  a  barrel  of  \\hisky  was  made  and  sold 
at  twent)'-five  cents  per  gallon,  and  shipped  to  New  Orleans  on  rude  flat-boats. 
Another  was  situated  a  half  mile  south  of  the  first  one  and  was  known  as  the 
McCamic  still-house.  In  1825  Robbins  and  Wedding  were  extensively  en- 
gaged in  pork  packing  and  shipping  lo  New  Orleans.  The  first  doctor  was 
Dr.  McDonald.  In  this  village  the  first  session  of  court  was  held  in  Parke 
county.     The  first  grand  jury  sat  here,  and  here  the  first  indictment  was 


found,  while  the  first  case  was  tried  in  the  court  which  was  in  session,  the 
same  being  a  criminal  case.  John  Grim,  for  stealing  some  furs  from  the 
Indians,  was  sentenced  to  the  penitentiarj'  for  one  year.  Between  1825  and 
1835  Roseville  was  indeed  a  lively  place.  It  soon  began  to  decline,  however, 
when  Rockville  opened  up  and,  in  addition  to  the  county  business,  also  drew 
trade  which  had  formerly  gone  to  Roseville. 

Numa,  situated  on  section  26,  range  9,  was  first  settled  by  John  Wilson, 
he  having  entered  the  land  and  laid  out  a  part  of  his  farm  into  town  lots  in 
1837.  These  lots  were  advertised  in  1838,  and  a  number  sold  at  prices  rang- 
ing from  twelve  to  fifteen  dollars.  Nearly  eveiy  person  in  the  neighborhood 
purchased  one  of  these  town  lots.  Mr.  Wilson  erected  the  first  frame  house 
in  the  village,  it  bsing  designed  as  a  hotel.  The  stage  which  carried  passen- 
gers along  this  road  from  Terre  Haute  to  Lafayette  stopped  here  to  change 
horses  and  eat  their  meals.  The  hotel  had  a  sign  reading,  "Entertainment  for 
Man  and  Beast,"  and  as  it  did  not  pay,  Mr.  Wilson  tore  it  down  and  opened  a 
general  store.  In  1840  Mr.  Gleason  erected  a  large  frame  building  in  the 
southern  part  of  town,  which  was  used  both  for  hotel  and  store  purposes. 
Gleason  sold  to  Silas  Bowers,  after  which  it  became  a  noted  place.  During 
the  building  of  the  canal  quite  a  business  was  carried  on  at  this  point,  but 
when  that  highway  was  finished  the  interest  in  the  town  was  forever  gone. 

Clinton  Lock  received  its  name  from  the  fact  that  the  locks  of  the 
A\'abash  &  Erie  canal  were  situated  at  this  place,  and  also  from  its  location 
immediately  across  the  river  from  the  city  of  Clinton.  In  June,  1880.  it 
was  named  Lyford.  It  is  in  section  14,  range  9,  and  is  a  station  now  on  the 
Chicago  &  Eastern  Illinois  railroad.  John  Crabb  entered  the  land  on  which 
the  village  is  situated,  and  in  1833  sold  to  his  son,  \y.  G.  Crabb.  He  built  a 
large  warehouse  there  in  1850;  it  was  on  the  bank  of  the  canal  and  was  forty 
by  eighty  feet,  two  stories  high.  After  the  days  of  the  canal  it  was  no  longer 
needed  for  grain,  and  in  1862  it  was  sold  to  Youman  &  Smith.  A.  &  J.  M. 
Lyons  put  in  a  stock  of  merchandise  in  185 1,  amounting  to  seven  thousand 
dollars.  At  the  closing  of  the  canal  in  1865,  everything  in  the  town  seemed 
to  instantly  decline  and  went  to  decay.  It  remained  defunct  until  the  autumn 
of  1873,  when  a  switch  from  the  Evansville  &  Terre  Haute  railroad  was  put 
in  and  run  to  the  mines  and  warehouse  of  Asa  Fitch,  who  put  in  fifty  men 
and  shipped  fifteen  cars  of  coal  per  day.  A  year  later  another  mine  was 
opened  half  a  mile  to  the  north.  In  1875  the  railroad  purchased  these 
switches  and  recognized  Clinton  Locks  as  a  station  point  on  their  line.  That 
year  the  store  was  opened  and  in  1877  ^  store  was  conducted  by  Lake  &  Com- 
pany.    In  1879  the  old  warehouse  was  purchased  by  Hudmut  &  Company, 


who  carried  on  a  large  business.  It  was  in  1879  that  the  great  stave  factory 
was  established  at  this  point  by  Jesse  Clutter,  who  there  made  about  seventeen 
thousand  staves  each  twenty-four  hours.  Later  a  cooper  shop  was  added  and 
thus  the  staves  made  up  into  casks  and  barrels.  West  of  the  village  the  first 
ferry  was  run  from  Florida  to  Clinton.  It  was  owned  by  David  Patton,  and 
consisted  of  a  simple  flat-boat  pushed  across  the  Wabash  by  means  of  poles, 
the  fare  being  thirty-seven  and  one-half  cents  per  team. 

Rosedale  received  its  name  from  pioneer  Chauncey  Rose,  of  Terre  Haute. 
The  coming  of  the  Terre  Haute  &  Logansport  railroad  was  the  commence- 
ment of  this  village  so  well  known  now.  It  is  situated  in  the  southeastern 
portion  of  Florida  township,  and  was  platted  by  Ephraim  Doty.  The  first 
house  there,  built  by  William  Smith  in  1835,  was  a  larg^  hewed  log  house 
twenty  by  forty  feet.  The  whole  community  assisted  in  raising  it,  occupy- 
ing two  full  days.  It  still  stood  in  1890,  the  property  of  Jerry  Beal.  Nothing 
of  importance  happened  at  this  point  until  i860,  when  the  railroad  was  fin- 
ished and  a  store  was  built ;  also  a  warehouse  and  mill,  a  drug  store  and  school 
house.  Frank  Bell  was  the  first  postmaster,  receiving"  his  commission  from 
President  Lincoln  in  January,  1862.  The  village  had  a  population  of  one  hun- 
dred in  1880,  but  of  recent  years  it  has  improved  greatly  and  the  census  of 
1912  gives  it  a  population  of  1,166.  All  branches  of  small  town  business  are 
here  represented  by  enterprising  men. 

Jessup,  another  hamlet  of  this  township,  is  situated  in  the  northeastern 
part  of  the  township,  and  derived  its  name  from  Mr.  Jessup,  an  old  resident 
of  the  community,  and  who  at  the  completion  of  the  "pumpkin  vine  railroad'" 
moved  near  where  the  village  now  stands.  Pleasant  Hawkins  and  Monroe 
Barnes,  of  Terre  Haute,  who  shipped  a  barrel  of  pork  addressed  to  ''Jessup," 
really  originated  the  name.  The  road  was  just  finished  and  the  conductor 
and  train  crew  searched  the  list  of  towns,  when  they  finally  decided  to  put 
the  goods  off  for  Jessup  at  that  point,  and  they  were  making  a  point  in  his- 
tory of  which  they  then  knew  not!  The  place  is  not  of  great  importance, 
yet,  as  a  trading  place,  has  been  a  good  thing  for  the  people  of  that  section. 
It  now  has  about  seventy-five  population. 

West  Atherton  is  located  in  the  extreme  southwest  corner  of  the  town- 
ship, and  is  a  small  station  point  on  the  branch  of  the  Chicago  &  Eastern  Illi- 
nois railroad. 

Another  town  in  this  township  is  Coxville,  a  thriving  hamlet  of  more 
modern  t)'pe  than  many  already  named. 



Greene  township  is  congressional  township  No.  i6  north,  of  range  6  west, 
and  is  situated  on  the  east  side  of  Parke  county,  with  Putnam  county  on  its 
east.  Union  township  to  the  south,  ^^^ashington  to  the  west  and  Howard 
township  and  Montgomery  county  on  its  north.  The  north  and  south 
branches  of  the  Little  Raccoon  flow  through  its  domain.  Big  Raccoon  cuts 
off  a  small  comer  of  this  township  on  section  36,  where  Portland  Mills  is 

The  surface  is  varied.  Along  the  banks  of  its  streams  it  is  much  broken, 
rising  in  places  to  considerable  hills  and  bluff  land.  The  northeast  quarter 
and  south  half  are  level  and  well  adapted  to  agriculture.  The  soil  is  exceed- 
ingly fertile.  Limestone  abounds  on  the  west  side  of  the  north  branch,  and 
there  are  numerous  outcroppings  of  coal,  with  indications  of  some  iron.  On 
the  east  side  of  this  branch  sandstone  of  three  kinds,  red,  yellow  and  gray,  is 
found  in  considerable  quantities.  It  is  well  suited  for  building  purposes. 
Fire  rock,  used  for  chimney  and  fire-place  backs,  is  also  found  in  this  town- 
ship. The  township  was  originally  one  dense  forest,  embracing  many  varie- 
ties of  excellent  timber.  In  the  more  swampy  parts  tlie  underbrush  was  so 
thick,  together  with  pea-vine  and  nettles,  that  a  road  had  to  be  blazed,  that 
children  might  find  their  way  to  and  from  school  at  an  early  day.  In  1880 
two-thirds  of  the  township  was  under  a  fine  state  of  cultivation.  Much  im- 
pro\  ement  has  been  done  there  in  the  passing  of  the  last  three  decades.  What 
is  or  was  known  as  the  Lindon  thicket,  or  swamp,  and  considered  b}'  the  pio- 
neers as  worthless  land,  is  now  the  most  valuable  in  all  the  township.  It  may 
be  said  that  Greene  is  an  average  farming  section  of  Parke  county.  Sufficient 
gravel  is  found  to  construct  all  the  roads  necessary  in  the  territor)\ 

The  Vandalia  railroad  traverses  the  northwest  corner  of  the  township, 
while  the  Cincinnati,  Hamilton  &  Dayton  line  passes  through  the  entire  north- 
ern part  of  it,  with  a  station  junction  of  both  roads  located  at  Guion,  a  ham- 
let of  fifty  persons.  The  present  assessed  valuation  of  the  township  is 
St. 005, 580,  while  its  population  in  19 10  was  placed  by  the  United  States  cen- 


sus  as  1,009.     Of  the  schools  and  churches  other  chapters  in  this  work  will 
treat  at  length. 


The  early  settlers  saw  the  redmen  at  their  doors  asking  for  food  and  to 
trade  with  them  for  furs.  Their  principal  camp  was  on  the  north  of  Little 
Raccoon,  northeast  of  the  railroad  crossing  at  Guion.  Here,  for  the  last 
time  in  the  history  of  Greene  township,  they  built  their  camp-fires,  sang  their 
songs  of  war  and  the  chase,  raised  the  war  whoop,  and  bade  adieu  to  the 
hunting  grounds  and  graves  of  their  fathers.  They  were  at  all  times  friendly 
to  the  settlers,  yet  it  is  said  that  one  John  Hathaway  lost  no  opportunity  to 
dispatch  an  Indian.  His  father  had  been  murdered  and  himself  wounded  by 
them,  at  a  settlement  on  the  Wabash,  and  he  had  sworn  to  wreak  out 
vengeance  in  their  blood.  Indian  relics  found  there  are  such  as  arrow  heads, 
stone  axes,  and  one  iron  tomahawk,  once  in  possession  of  Ambrose  Lambert, 
was  a  real  curiosity ;  it  had  a  curved  blade  about  five  inches  long  by  two  and 
a  half  in  width;  the  pole  served  for  a  pipe ;  the  handles  to  this  combined  instru- 
ment of  war  and  peace  are  one. 

Once  game  of  every  kind  belonging  to  this  latitude  was  found  here  in 
abundance.  To  see  twenty-five  deer  in  a  drove  was  nothing  uncommon,  or 
turkeys  to  alight  on  the  trees  in  numbers  so  great  as  to  break  down  their 
branches.  Squirrels,  porcupines,  mink  and  other  small  animals  were  as  com- 
mon as  small  birds  are  now ;  now,  only  a  few  squirrels  remain.  Among  the 
early  settlers  Ambrose  Lambert  was  the  most  successful  hunter.  Snakes  of 
almost  every  kind  were  here  in  great  numbers.  East  of  Parkville,  on  the  old 
Mathias  Sappinfield  farm,  is  what  is  known  as  "snake  den."  Here,  in  a  cliff 
of  sand-stone,  serpents  of  all  kinds  came  in  the  fall  to  take  up  winter  quarters. 
In  the  spring,  men  came  and  killed  them  in  great  numbers,  as  they  basked  in 
the  sunshine  on  the  rocks. 


In  the  autumn  of  182 1,  five  families  emigrated  from  Kentucky  to  this  sec- 
tion of  the  county.  These  were  Daniel  Bruin,  Sr.,  James  Buchanan,  David 
Todd,  Abraham  Durlin  and  Ambrose  Lambert,  accompanied  by  three  young 
men,  and  they  all  settled  on  the  west  bank  of  the  north  branch  of  Little  Rac- 
coon, south  of  the  railroad  crossing  of  today  at  Guion  station.  This  without 
doubt  was  the  first  settlement  in  Greene  township.     They  came  not  to  hunt 


deer  and  dig  "'sang,"  but  for  the  purpose  of  building  for  themselves  permanent 
homes.  These  sturdy  pioneers  went  to  the  task  of  felling  the  giant  forest 
kings  and  erecting  cabin  homes  in  what  was  a  vast  wilderness.  Abraham 
Durlin's  cabin  was  the  first  ready  for  occupancy,  but  by  the  time  the  winter's 
blast  had  come  on,  all  were  comfortably  housed  for  the  long,  dreary  winter. 
But  hard  times  were  in  store  for  this  little  band  of  pioneer  settlers.  They 
had  little  money  or  grain,  and  had  to  purchase  the  latter  from  neighbors  at 
very  high  rates.  Then  the  sound  of  the  water  mill  had  not  yet  been  heard 
in  the  settlements,  and  the  roads  were  little  more  than  paths  beaten  by  wild 
beasts  and  wild  men  in  days  long  gone  by.  When  they  had  corn,  the)-  re- 
duced it  to  hominy  by  means  of  the  wooden  mortar.  This  they  made  in  two 
grades,  coarse  and  fine.  The  former  was  eaten,  with  such  other  food  as  they 
could  procure,  for  breakfast;  the  latter  was  made  into  a  kind  of  coarse  bread 
and  served  the  remainder  of  the  day.  At  all  times,  however,  they  were  sup- 
plied with  an  abundance  of  wild  game.  This  tided  them  over  until  a  small 
patch  of  ground  could  he  cleared,  and  a  crop  raised,  Yet,  it -is  written  that 
nearly  all  lived  to  be  old  men  and  women.  This  colony  was  followed  in  the 
spring  of  1822  by  about  fifty  families,  who  settled  near  them  in  Union,  Wash- 
ington, Greene  and  Howard  townships. 

The  second  settlement  was  effected  at  Portland  Mills,  in  1823,  on  the  line 
between  Parke  and  Putnam  counties,  by  Clemen  Gare,  Moses  Plart,  John 
Foster,  Lemuel  Norman  and  Samuel  Steele,  all  of  whom  were  from  Ken- 
tucky. The  immigration  came  rushing  in  mightily  from  Kentucky,  Pennsyl- 
vania and  the  Carolinas,  until  about  1836.  As  early  as  1830,  the  pioneers 
saw  the  rude  round-log  cabins,  with  their  board  roofs,  mud  chimneys  and  paper 
glass  windows,  all  around  them  in  every  direction,  but  as  the  years  wore  away 
better  abiding  places  were  provided. 


The  greatest  drawback  in  this  settlement  was  the  lack  of  mills.  Rose- 
ville,  twenty-five  miles  distant,  was  their  nearest  milling  place.  So  bad  were 
the  roads  and  so  high  the  unbridged  streams  at  times  that  the  families  had  to 
subsist  on  such  meals  as  they  were  able  to  make  by  hand,  such  seasons  lasting 
sometimes  for  weeks.  Then  a  settler  never  went  to  mill  alone,  but  the  neigh- 
bors would  all  club  together  and  go  with  their  teams  in  a  company.  Extra 
men  went  ahead,  to  hew  out  a  road-way  and  assist  the  drivers  in  crossing 
streams  and  hills.  The  first  mill  in  this  township  was  erected  at  Portland 
Mills,  in  1825,  by  Samuel  Steele,  father  of  the  better  known  George  Kirk- 


Patrick  Steele,  and  pioneer  settler  of  that  place.  This  was  a  combined  grist- 
and  saw-mill.  It  was  many  times  rebuilt  and  finally,  in  1880,  was  owned  by 
J.'E.  Blake,  being  then  looked  upon  as  Parke  county's  best  mill.  The  flour 
made  there  at  an  early  day  was  hand  bolted.  The  pioneers  and  their  children 
looked  upon  Mr.  Steele  as  a  great  benefactor  to  his  race,  and  today,  were  they 
living,  would  plead  for  his  bust  to  adorn  the  Hall  of  Fame. 

The  first,  as  well  as  only,  still  for  making  liquors  in  this  township  was 
built  and  run  by  Mathias  Sappinfield,  on  his  farm,  one  mile  and  a  fourth  east 
of  Parkeville. 

The  village  of  Parkeville  was  platted  in  township  16,  range  6,  October 
4,  1837,  by  Presley  Doggett.  Guion,  another  hamlet,  already  mentioned, 
was  platted  by  Robert  Bruin,  January  7,  1882,  in  section  7  of  the  same  town- 
ship and  range. 



Howard  is  the  northern  township  in  Parke  county,  in  range  6,  township 
1 6.  The  east  and  south  boundaries  are  each  six  miles  in  length,  and  the 
northern  boundary  is  three  miles  long.  Fountain  county  is  to  the  north, 
Montgomery  to  the  east,  while  on  the  south  are  situated  Greene  and  Wash- 
ington townships.  The  western  boundary  is  very  irregular;  along  this  lie 
Sugar  Creek  and  Penn  townships,  the  latter  bounding  only  a  spur,  one  and  a 
half  miles  wide,  projecting  from  the  southwest  of  Howard  township.  On  the 
west  and  south  of  Howard  township  is  some  farming  land  as  fine  as  the  "King- 
dom' of  Parke"  contains.  Along  the  Sugar  creek,  which  flows  southwest 
through  the  township,  the  surface  is  very  broken  for  some  distance  away  from 
the  banks.  The  east  and  south  parts  of  the  township  are  divided  into  large 
farms,  well  improved  and  now  very  valuable.  In  lieu  of  good  farms  the 
hilly  country  is  rich  in  its  deposits  of  mineral  wealth,  sandstone  of  several 
varieties,  and  limestone,  fit  for  any  sort  of  buildings.  The  soapstone  beds  in 
the  township  are  twenty  feet  in  thickness,  between  two  strata  of  sandstone. 
Coal  and  iron  ore  crop  out  from  the  hills.  Coal  is  found  in  a  twelve-foot 
vein  and  of  good  quality. 

Up  to  1855  Howard  formed  a  part  of  Sugar  Creek  township.  Before 
this  several  petitions  were  presented  to  the  county  commissioners  by  the  cit- 
izens on  the  west  side  of  the  township  for  a  division  as  it  is  now,  but  these 
petitions  were  denied  them.  In  1855,  through  the  energies  of  Col.  Casper 
Budd,  the  trustee  of  Sugar  Creek,  these  petitions  were  finally  granted.  The 
territory  thus  set  off  was  organized  into  a  civil  township,  called  Howard,  by 
Colonel  Budd  in  honor  of  General  Howard,  then  one  of  the  county's  most 
prominent  men. 

In  1912,  the  assessed  valuation,  real  and  personal,  of  Howard  township 
was  $458,025.  Its  present  population  (1910  census)  is  666.  The  schools 
and  churches  are  treated  under  separate  general  chapters  in  this  work.  The 
first  church  organization  was  in  1833  and  the  first  school  was  taught  in  1830. 



The  original  settlers  in  what  is  now  called  Howard  township  were  Heniy 
Litsey,  Samuel  Snook  and  James  Long.  The  first  located  in  1822,  on  Sugar 
creek;  the  same  year  came  to  section  31  Samuel  Snook  and  the  third  was 
James  Long,  on  section  17.  In  1823  the  stream  of  immigration  began  pour- 
ing in  to  Parke  county  from  Kentucky  and  North  Carolina,  and  by  1830 
there  was  little  choice  land  for  sale.  Of  these  few  settlers  it  may  be  stated 
that  they  were  quiet,  industrious  people,  who  came  not  for  office  or  specula- 
tion, but  simply  for  the  purpose  of  making  for  themselves  and  families  homes. 
They  made  their  own  cloth  from  the  flax  they  raised;  ate  bread  from  the 
grain  they  had  sown  and  threshed  by  hand,  and  in  most  cases  had  pounded  it 
into  meal  and  flour.  But  few  bushels  were  left  when  the  family  and  stock 
had  been  supplied.  In  1830,  Salmon  Lusk  bought  and  packed  pork  at  the 
narrows  of  Sugar  creek.  This  furnished  the  people  with  a  little  ready  money 
in  exchange  for  the  little  stock  they  produced.  At  the  same  time  and  place 
Prior  Wright  opened  a  small  general  store,  which  supplied  them  with  the 
few  actual  necessities  needed.  With  the  surplus  of  a  ten-acre  farm,  when 
pork  was  only  one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents  per  hundred,  calico  thirty-five 
cents  per  yard  and  salt  five  dollars  per  barrel,  they  could  purchase  but  little. 
These  pioneers  were  nearly  all  God-fearing  people,  and  early  organized  church 
societies  and  held  worship  in  log  houses,  where  the  God  of  their  fathers  was 
worshiped  in  a  true  and  faithful  manner. 

The  great  trouble  encountered  at  that  day  was  the  securing  of  suitable 
breadstuffs.  Prior  to  1826  the  nearest  points  at  which  they  could  obtain  flour 
was  at  either  Alamo  or  Roseville.  In  1826  Salmon  Lusk  built  a  mill  at  the 
narrows  of  Sugar  creek.  The  first  mill  built  in  the  township  was  by  Urial 
Clore;  the  second  was  built  by  Blumens  White  in  1853,  ^^'^  l^t^r  known  as 
Scott's  Mill.  No  serious  epidemics  have  ever  visited  this  township,  and  but 
few  fatal  accidents  have  occurred.  The  first  person  killed  was  James  P. 
Robinson,  who  fell  from  his  wagon  going  down  a  hill  near  Rockville.  The 
next  was  a  lad,  named  William  Montgomery,  who  was  killed  by  the  falling  of 
a  tree,  and  the  third,  Richard  Watson,  was  crushed  by  the  beam  of  a  clover 
huUer  at  Jacob  C.  Banta's. 



Jackson  township  named  for  old  "Rough  and  Ready,"  Andrew  Jackson, 
once  President  of  the  United  States,  is  in  the  extreme  southeast  part  of  Parke 
county,  with  Putnam  county  to  its  east.  Union  township  north.  Raccoon  town- 
ship west  and  Clay  county,  Indiana,  to  its  south.  The  "hills  of  Jackson"  is 
a  common  expression  in  speaking  of  this  portion  of  the  county.  Yet  much 
good  land  is  found  within  the  limits  of  the  township.  The  once  giant  forests 
have  been  cleared  away  and  beautiful  farms  are  now  seen  in  many  sections. 
The  saw-mill  here  was  early  set  to  work  and  did  its  part  in  developing  the 
country.  The  Big  Raccoon  cuts  off  the  northwest  corner,  passing  out  in  sec- 
tion 1 8.  Along  this  creek  lie  the  rich  alluvial  bottom  lands,  more  valuable 
than  any  other  kind  of  soil.  The  southeast  is  quite  level,  the  balance  being 
rough  and  hilly.  The  township  abounds  in  numerous  beautiful,  never-failing 
springs  of  pure  water  that  gladden  the  heart  of  both  man  and  beast.  Then  there 
is  a  wonderful  sulphur  spring.  The  Indianapolis  &  St.  Louis  railroad  passes 
across  the  southeast  corner  of  this  township,  and  one  of  its  statibns  is  the 
village  of  Lena.  The  old  settlers  were  nearly  all  dead  by  1880.  The  first 
settlements  were  effected  in  the  Big  Raccoon  valley  about  1820,  at  a  time 
when  the  Indian  roamed  up  and  down  that  stream  at  Avill  and  was  "lord  of  all 
he  surveyed."  About  1820  the  first  cabin  in  the  valley  was  built  where  Mans- 
field now  stands,  being  erected  by  Nelson  and  Hubbard,  for  James  Kelsey,  as 
a  residence.  In  1821  lands  were  entered  by  George  Kirkpatrick  and  Nash 
Gl  id  well  came  from  Ohio.  Robert  Glidwell  surveyed  through  this  section  in 
18 1 6,  and  about  1823  entered  land,  his  patent  being  signed  by  President 
Monroe.  In  1821  Zopher  and  Emily  Coleman  sought  a  home  in  the  wilds 
of  Jackson  township,  settling  north  of  the  present  site  of  Mansfield.  They 
came  in  from  South  Carolina.  That  year  a  son  was  born  to  them  and  they 
named  him  Zopher,  Jr.,  he  being  the  second  born  in  the  township.  George 
Hansel  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1795,  and  when  the  war  of  18 12  broke 
out  he  enlisted  and  aided  in  the  defense  of  Fort  Hamilton,  also  crossed  the 
White  river  and  helped  to  destroy  the  Indian  town.  Prepared  by  these  ex- 
periences, he  came  to  what  is  now  Parke  county  in  1820,  and  entered  land 


in  what  is  now  the  northwest  part  of  Jackson  township.  He  left  for  two 
years,  and  then  returned  to  occupy  the  lands  he  had  selected.  He  was  much 
engaged  in  the  early  surveys  of  this  county  and  constructed  with  his  pen  a 
map  of  Parke  county,  showing  all  the  sun-eys,  sections  and  streams.  He 
served  as  justice  of  the  peace  many  years,  being  the  first  elected  in  Jackson 
township.  Jacob  Cole  later  owned  the  farm  he  settled  upon.  As  early  as 
1825,  William  Bullington  arrived.  He  came  from  Kentucky  to  this  state  in 
181 5,  having  moved  from  Virginia  to  Kentucky  in  1807.  He  said  that  there 
were  not  men  enough  in  Parke  county  to  raise  a  respectable  cabin,  and  that 
many  of  them  lived  in  their  wagons  and  camped  out.  Bullington  accompanied 
the  Indians  from  Mansfield  to  St.  Louis  when  they  were  removed  from  Ohio 
to  the  -Osage  country.  These  Indians,  one  thousand  two  hundred  in  num- 
ber, divided  into  three  detachments,  separated  from  each  other  a  day's  jour- 
ney, so  that  the  hostility  existing  between  dififerent  tribes  might  be  controlled. 
Bullington  was  twent_\'-three  days  with  these  Indians,  when  he  returned. 
By  trade  he  was  a  mason.  In  1869  he  removed  to  Union  township  and  in 
1880  was  still  living,  having  reached  his  four  score  years. 

Jesse  and  Amelia  Moore  both  emigrated  from  South  Carolina  to  Ken- 
tucky, and  in  1826  to  Jackson  township  in  this  county.  They  started  Octo- 
ber 8th,  and  arrived  here  and  leased  twenty-seven  acres  in  the  northeast 
quarter  of  section  9,  agreeing  to  build  a  house  and  set  out  an  orchard,  besides 
clearing  up  seventy  acres.  They  had  the  privilege  of  using  the  whole  quarter 
section.  There  were  three  families  of  them :  the  old  folks,  Jesse  and  Amelia ; 
Naoma  Pruett  and  husband,  with  family  of  two  children ;  Thomas  Moore  and 
wife,  with  one  child ;  and  Joab,  a  single  man.  Jesse  and  his  son  Joab  worked 
a  half  of  the  land,  and  Thomas  and  Stephen  the  other  half.  Thomas  became 
the  wealthiest  man  in  Jackson  township  thirty  years  and  more  ago. 

In  1829  came  Michael  and  Elizabeth  Pruett,  hailing  from  the  famous 
Blue  Grass  district  of  Kentucky,  bringing  their  son  Calvin  with  them.  They 
bought  land  not  far  from  Mansfield.  His  sons,  Calvin,  Cyrenus  and  James, 
with  other  children,  spent  their  lives  in  this  township.  When  the  public 
school  law  was  voted  on  in  this  county.  Calvin  Pruett  was  the  only  man  to 
vote  for  it  in  his  township.  The  voters  hooted  at  him  and  called  him  "too 
advanced  for  this  county"  and  he  stood  and  voted  alone,  but  it  was  not  long 
before  he  was  gratified  at  being  vindicated  by  the  passage  of  the  law,  the  base 
of  our  present  fine  school  system.  Cyrenus  Pruett  was  many  years  a  town- 
ship officer,  including  that  of  assessor.  James  Pruett  faced  the  enem\''s 
shot  and  shell  during  the  Civil  war,  and  spent  fifty-two  days  in  Andersonville 


By  1830  there  were  possibly  twenty-five  families  within  Jackson  town- 
ship, as  there  were  thirty-two  votes  cast  at  an  election  in  that  year.  Among 
the  pioneers  were:  Thomas  W.  Moore,  Joseph  Coombs,  John  Coombs, 
Mahalan  Stark,  James  Pursley,  Hugh  Vinzant,  Presley  Tyler,  John  Young, 
Stephen  Mannon,  Samuel  Johnson,  Solomon  Garrigus.  In  1837,  howe\er, 
the  dull  times  struck  in  and  not  for  a  number  of  years  was  there  much  immi- 
gration to  this  county,  after  which,  though,  it  was  redoubled.  From  1865 
to  1880  Jackson  township  made  wonderful  progress.  The  census  of  1880 
gave  it  as  having  1,442  population.  Its  present  population  is  1,157.  Its 
assessed  valuation  in  19 12  is  $496,520. 


Lena  and  Mansfield  are  the  only  two  villages  within  this  township.  The 
older  of  these  is  Mansfield.  The  log  cabin  of  Mr.  Kelsey  must  have  been 
the  beginning  of  what  was  then  literally  and  truly  a  "man's-field,"  although 
in  a  very  wild  state.  No  finer  mill-site  was  to  be  found  anywhere  in  the 
country  than  at  this  point.  The  bed  of  the  Big  Raccoon  creek  is  here  a 
solid  rock,  affording  an  indestructible  foundation  for  both  a  dam  and  a  mill. 
A  mill  was  constructed  here  about  1820,  at  least  it  must  have  been  within  a 
year  or  so  either  way  from  that  date.  Thomas  Woolverton,  who  purchased 
land  in  Union  township  in  1820,  helped  to  raise  this  mill,  and  he  departed 
that  year  for  Virginia,  where  he  remained  five  years,  then  found  the  mill  in 
operation  upon  his  return.  So  few  w^hite  men  were  present  in  the  neighbor- 
hood that  Indians  were  pressed  into  assisting  in  the  "raising"  of  this  mill.  It 
was  thirty  feet  square.  Grists  came  here  from  a  long  distance.  It  was 
owned  by  several  persons,  including  Kelsey  &  Dickson,  Judge  S.  Gookins,  of 
Terre  Haute,  and  Gen.  G.  K.  Steele,  later  falling  into  the  hands  of  Jacob 
Rohm.     It  was  torn  down  and  another  built  on  the  old  site  in  1880. 

Mr.  Gookins  laid  out  the  village  of  Mansfield.  A  postoffice  was  estab- 
lished in  1825,  the  postmaster  being  Mr.  Dickson  and  the  mail  came  from 
Terre  Haute.  In  1829,  G.  K.  Steele  opened  a  store  here;  he  became  owner 
of  the  mill  property  in  1838,  continuing  in  both  store  and  mill  until  1846. 
The  first  physicians  here  were  Drs.  Nofifringer  and  Britts;  then  came  Drs. 
Dailey  and  Farrow.  The  churches  and  schools  of  the  village  and  township 
are  treated  under  separate  headings  in  other  chapters. 

In  the  historjr  of  Mansfield,  the  ladies  of  the  village  and  count v  around 
performed  one  deed  that  should  live  in  history.  Prior  to  the  war,  and  dur- 
ing that  struggle,  Mansfield  was  harboring  slavery  within  her  midst  in  the 


form  of  intemperance.  Rising  in  their  majesty,  the}'  made  open  war  upon 
the  trafific,  and  with  their  own  efforts  rolled  barrels  of  liquor  into  the  streets 
and  spilled  the  contents.  Mrs.  Samuel  Johnston  was  one  of  the  leaders  in 
this  whisky  insurrection.  The  ladies  were  victorious,  and  Mansfield  drew 
full  inspirations  of  pure  air.  Later,  another  saloon  was  started  in  a  building 
standing  on  the  bank  of  the  creek.  One  night  some  citizens  hitched  oxen  to 
it  and  drew  it  over  into  the  creek,  whose  waters  did  the  rest!  This  wound 
up  liquor  selling,  even  in  drug  stores,  for  many  a  year. 


Lena,  in  the  southeastern  portion  of  Jackson  township,  was  platted  on 
section  35,  in  township  14,  range  6,  by  Robert  King  in  1870.  It  sprung  up 
as  a  station  point  along  the  Indianapolis  &  St.  Louis  railroad,  and  soon  be- 
came a  good  shipping  point  for  the  immense  quantities  of  lumber  and  staves 
cut  from  the  surrounding  forests.  Adjoining  the  place  on  the  south  is  Marys- 
\'ille,  in  Clay  county,  but  both  are  now  really  one  town.  J.  B.  Cochran,  sand- 
wiched between  the  two  places,  is  credited  as  having  been  the  oldest  resident 
in  either  place.  He  was  the  first  merchant  and  postmaster,  also  first  railroad 
agent  and  express  agent.  The  first  blacksmith  was  Thornton  Wilson;  Will- 
iam Girton  the  first  shoemaker;  Hasty  &  Sons  were  the  first  millers.  Lena 
today  has  a  population  of  about  three  hundred,  and  is  a  lively  local  trading 
point  in  the  county.  Dr.  J.  H.  Ranch,  of  Chicago,  a  wealthy  landowner  and 
coal  operator,  passed  several  years  at  Lena,  erected  many  buildings,  improved 
the  streets,  graded  roads,  made  brick,  mined  coal,  and  in  many  other  ways 
was  a  promoter  of  the  public  good  of  the  new  village.  A  Masonic  lodge  was 
formed  there  in  1874. 

While  Jackson  township  had  many  disadvantages  at  an  early  day,  and 
was  accounted  rather  slow-growing  for  many  decades,  it  has  finally  come  to 
rank  among  the  sister  sub-divisions  of  Parke  county,  as  being  almost  equal 
in  prosperity  to  any  other. 



Liberty  is  the  northwestern  township  in  Parke  county.  The  Wabash 
river  washes  its  western  borders.  Fountain  county  is  on  its  north,  while  south 
and  east  its  boundaries  are  Reserve  and  Star  Creek  townships.  Its  streams 
are  Coal,  Mill  and  Rush  creeks,  with  their  numerous  tributaries,  many  of 
which,  at  an  early  day,  furnished  an  abundance  of  waterpower  for  milling 
purposes.  The  township  is  one  of  the  most  thickly  settled  in  the  county,  it 
having  had  a  population,  in  1880,  of  1,774.  The  last  enumeration  (1910) 
gave  it  as  1,513.  The  1880  assessed  valuation  was  $449,202  in  real  estate, 
while  its  personal  property  amounted  as  per  assessed  valuation  to  $168,385, 
as  against  a  total  valuation  of  $812,110  in  1912.  Some  of  the  finest  grazing 
land  in  Parke  county  was  reported  by  writers  a  third  of  a  century  ago.  The 
bottom  lands  in  the  western  part  of  the  township  are  not  excelled  in  all  Indiana 
for  the  fertility  of  the  soil  and  the  annual  production  of  immense  crops  of 
corn.  Originally,  Liberty  township  was  composed  of  thirty-nine  full  and  six 
fractional  sections,  but  in  the  seventies  sections  35  and  36  and  the  south  halves 
of  25  and  26  were  cut  off  to  form  a  part  of  Penn  township. 


The  first  settlers  in  Liberty  township  were  located  in  the  northwest 
portion,  and  came  in  about  1821-1822,  when  Abe  Timberman,  William  and 
Edward  Brockway  and  Samuel  Arnot  came  up  the  Wabash  and  pitched  their 
tents  in  the  vast,  untried  wilderness,  while  in  1825  David  Shirk  arrived,  who, 
in  addition  to  hewing  out  a  farm  from  the  forest,  preached  the  gospel  to  the 
few  settlers  over  that  portion  of  Parke  count}',  he  being  of  the  Baptist  denom- 
ination. Early  that  year  came  also  John  Richmond  and  he  was  soon  fol- 
lowed by  the  Burtons,  who  entered  land  on  which  Howard  now  stands.  The 
settlers  of  1823  included  Jacob  Bowsher  and  family,  who  located  on  Sugar 
creek,  in  section  25,  at  which  time  the  Indians  still  occupied  this  part  of  the 
country,  a  village  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  wigwams  standing  on  the  land  he 
chose.  The  chief  of  this  band  was  John  Cornstalk.  They  were,  however, 
at  this  date,  very  friendly  with  the  white  settlers,   never  displeasing  them 


further  than  the  occasional  stealing  of  a  calf  or  pig.  While  off  on  a  hunting 
expedition,  a  young  man  named  Steever  set  fire  to  and  burned  down  their 
village.  Upon  their  return  the  tribe  of  Indians  went  to  putting  on  war  paint, 
and  asked  Mr.  Bowsher  to  tell  them  who  had  committed  the  deed,  saying  that 
in  case  he  told  them  no  harm  would  come  to  anyone  but  the  guilty  party.  So, 
in  defense  of  his  neighbors  and  himself,  he  was  compelled  to  tell  the  Indians 
who  it  was,  but  took  care  to  send  a  boy  to  notify  the  Steever  fellow  of  his 
action,  so  that  he  might  make  good  his  escape,  which  he  did,  after  the  Indians 
had  chased  him  sixty  or  seventy  miles.  Soon  after  that  these  Indians  were 
removed  to  their  reservation,  and  after  that  only  small  parties  were  ever  again 
seen  in  the  township.  Near  this  Indian  village  was  a  burying-ground,  in 
which  more  than  a  hundred  graves  were  found  by  the  first  white  settlers. 
One,  better  cared  for  than  the  others,  was  believed  to  be  that  of  a  chief,  and 
after  the  final  removal  of  the  Indians  it  was  opened  by  Joseph  Bowsher  and 
other  boys,  who  found  a  string  of  gold  beads,  a  butcher  knife  and  other  relics. 

In  1824  came  Lawson  Hofifman,  settling  in  the  southern  part,  when  nine- 
teen years  of  age.  Joseph  Thompson  came  four  years  later  and  at  same  time 
came  Isaac  Harvey.  The  first  to  effect  settlement  in  what  is  known  as  the 
Rush  Creek  settlement,  which  was  about  1830,  was  James  Marks,  who  came 
from  Kentucky  and  purchased  a  quarter  section,  where  later  his  son  George 
resided.  After  paying  for  his  land  at  the  land  ofifice,  he  had  twelve  and  a  half 
cents  to  begin  the  world  on.  John  Osborn  arrived  the  same  year,  and  later 
came  Isaac  Weaver;  then  James  Woody,  who  came  in  1833,  followed  in 
1834  by  George  Towell  and  George  Marris,  while  Thomas,  Jonathan,  Lot 
and  David  Lindley  arrived  in  1832. 

A  tan  yard  was  put  in  operation  in  1836  by  Harlan  Harvey,  of  Warren 
county,  Ohio,  and  was  run  by  him  and  his  partner,  George  Madden,  who 
arrived  in  1837,  for  sixteen  years.  In  1840  Mr.  Madden  laid  out  a  nursery, 
which  furnished  fruit  trees  and  ornamental  shrubs  for  a  wide  scope  of 
country.  A  greater  part  of  these  settlers  were  of  the  Friends  religious  faith 
and  in  1832  a  congregation  was  formed  by  them,  by  Isaac  Hobson,  David  and 
Lot  Lindley,  and  a  few  more.  This,  with  other  churches  and  schools,  will  be 
mentioned  at  length  in  chapters  on  these  subjects.  The  first  school  house  was 
built  in  1830,  and  its  first  teacher  was  Isaac  Hobson,  who  also  kept  a  small 
store  at  his  house  on  Rush  creek.  Another  store  was  owned  b}-  a  stock  com- 
pany, situated  west  of  Rush  Creek  meeting  house,  in  which  W.  Hadley  offi- 
ciated as  a  clerk.  At  that  time  prices  ranged  as  follows :  Calico  fifty  cents 
a  yard ;  coffee,  fifty  cents  a  pound ;  salt,  five  dollars  per  barrel,  while  wages 
ran  from  twenty-five  to  forty  cents  a  day  for  labor,  and  in  harvest,  with  the 



reaping-hook,  thirty-seven  and  one-half  cents  per  da)-  was  paid.  Near  the 
mouth  of  Sugar  creek  was  the  mill  to  which  this  settlement  had  to  look  for 
its  milling  advantages.  That  was  operated  by  John  Beard,  an  old  man,  who 
had  arrived  in  the  county  at  a  very  early  day.  A  saw-mill,  propelled  by  water 
power,  was  erected  on  Rush  creek  by  a  Mr.  Reid,  in  1826.  At  the  same  time 
there  was  a  small  corn  cracker  in  the  northwest  part  of  the  township,  and  a 
water  mill  in  the  extreme  southern  part.  The  first  steam  saw-mill  was  built 
in  1848,  on  section  16,  by  O.  P.  Davis,  who  with  his  partner,  James  Woody, 
conducted  the  mill  many  years  and  were  successful  in  their  operations  and 
of  great  service  to  the  pioneers. 

About  a  mile  east  of  the  village  of  Howard  is  a  graveyard,  in  which 
many  of  the  early  settlers  are  buried.  It  is  situated  on  a  large  mound  in 
Mill  creek  bottoms,  and  is  supposed  by  many  to  have  been  the  work  of  mound- 
builders.  Such,  however,  is  a  mistake,  as  geologists  have  determined  that  it 
is  but  a  natural  drift  of  deposit  made  in  the  period  when  such  formations 
were  made  in  this  section  of  America.  It  had  been  used  as  a  burial  place  by 
the  Indians,  doubtless  for  centuries,  as  in  digging  graves  numerous  skeletons 
and  detached  bones  are  found ;  the  remains  usually  found  were  those  of  per- 
sons who  must  have  been  from  six  feet  six  inches  to  seven  feet  in  height. 
Others  of  smaller  size  were  also  found.  A  log  school  house  was  erected  on 
the  east  side  of  this  mound  in  1835,  and  there  many  a  good  citizen  of  a  later 
date  received  his  education. 


The  villages  within  this  township  are :  Waterman,  Howard,  Sylvania 
and  Tangier.  Waterman,  in  the  northwest  corner,  was  originally  called 
Lodi,  the  name  being  changed  in  1857,  in  honor  of  Dr.  Waterman,  who  set- 
tled there  that  year  and  was  an  irhportant  factor,  having  opened  a  large  gen- 
eral store  and  a  pork-packing  establishment.  Here  a  large  trade  was  carried 
on,  as  in  all  the  early-day  river  towns,  in  shipping  provisions,  grain  and  other 
commodities  to  New  Orleans,  by  water,  on  flat-boats.  The  salt  well  at- 
tracted much  attention  when  the  Wabash  &  Erie  canal  was  opened,  that,  too, 
had  great  influence  in  reviving  trade  until  that  waterway  was  abandoned  in 
the  seventies,  after  which  the  town  went  almost  to  decay.  In  1880  there  was 
a  large  flouring  mill  erected  by  C.  K.  Bright  and  L.  C.  Davis.  In  1880  the 
business  of  the  place  was  confined  to  a  drug  store,  one  dry  goods  store,  a 
grocery,  a  blacksmith  shop,  a  saw-mill  and  two  physicians.  There  is  but  little 
there  today  to  mark  the  former  fond  hopes  entertained  by  its  citizens  of  the 


fifties  and  seventies.  A  Masonic  lodge  was  instituted  there  in  1855,  called 
Lodiville  Lodge  No.  172. 

Howard,  formerly  called  Westport,  is  situated  on  the  Wabash  river,  and 
was  laid  out  in  1827  on  land  owned  by  J.  and  J.  Burton,  who  built  a  house 
there  and  opened  the  first  store  in  the  vicinity,  probably  in  the  township.  The 
place  grew  rapidly  and  numerous  business  houses  were  erected,  among  the 
heaviest  operators  baing  James  H.  Beadle  and  Harlan  Harvey,  who  shipped 
grain  and  pork  to  New  Orleans  and  southern  points  genei-ally.  After  the  canal 
was  opened  business  greatly  increased,  there  being  at  one  time  two  large  dry 
goods  stores,  two  grain  warehouses,  and  numerous  stores  and  work-shops. 
Thirty-thi'ee  years  ago  all  had  gone — no  trace  of  business  enterprise  was  left, 
save  the  bed  of  the  old  canal  and  the  decaying  timbers  of  an  occasional  old 
warehouse.  The  churches  and  schools  are  mentioned  elsewhere.  The  name 
is  no  longer  listed  on  the  maps  of  Indiana. 

Sylvania,  one  of  the  sprightly  villages  of  Parke  county  forty  years  ago, 
is  located  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  14,  and  is  younger  than  either 
Howard  or  Waterman.  The  first  to  embark  in  business  here  was  Heniy 
Durham,  who  opened  his  blacksmith  shop.  Following  him  were  Atkinson 
and  M.  Stout,  who  each  opened  stores.  Durham  sold  to  Gillum  Brothers. 
In  1880  a  Masonic  lodge  was  organized  at  Sylvania.  Churches  and  schools 
are  mentioned  elsewhere,  under  general  chapter  headings.  At  one  time  there 
were  factories  making  broom  handles,  tile,  picket  fencing,  bee-hives  and  a 
wagon  shop.  For  many  years  it  has  been  a  station  point  on  the  Chicago  & 
Eastern  Illinois  railroad.  While  other  towns  and  hamlets  draw  from  its 
trade,  yet  a  considerable  business  is  carried  on  at  that  point. 

Tangier  was  platted  later,  just  to  the  north  of  Sylvania.  This  is  one 
of  the  modern  railroad  points  of  this  county  and  is  a  convenience  to  a  large 
number  of  farmers  in  that  section  of  the  county.  It  was  platted  by  William 
B.  Swaine  and  Edmund  Lindley,  March  13,  1886,  on  section  15,  township  17, 
range  8.     It  now  has  a  popuation  of  about  three  hundred. 



Penn  township  is  situated  in  the  north-central  portion  of  Parke  county. 
It  was  the  latest  township  formed,  its  organization  taking  place  in  1854,  its 
territory  being  set  off  from  parts  of  Liberty,  Reserve  and  Sugar  Creek  town- 
ships, and  is  formed  in  the  shape  of  a  letter  "T".  It  contains  twenty-one  full 
and  five  half  sections.  It  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  Liberty  and  Sugar  Creek 
townships,  Howard  and  Washington  on  the  east,  Adams  and  Reserve  on  the 
south  and  Liberty  and  Reserve  on  the  west.  In  1880  the  assessed  valuation 
of  all  property  in  this  township  was  reported  as  $655,065,  as  against  $617,775 
in  1912.  In  1880  it  was  fourth  in  population  of  the  townships  in  this  county, 
and  today  is,  according  to  the  federal  census  of  1910,  1,393. 

The  soil  in  Penn  township  is  a  rich  clay  loam,  which  produces  large  crops 
of  wheat  and  grain  of  all  kinds.  Drainage  is  excellent  and  the  rural  scenes  of 
today  are  a  feast  to  the  admirer  of  pretty  and  highly  cultivated  farms.  The 
land  on  either  side  of  Sugar  creek,  in  the  north  part,  is  hilly  and  picturesque 
in  the  extreme.  Rock  Hollow  and  other  favorite  resoi-ts  for  tourists  are 
here  found.  Sugar  creek,  Leatherwood,  Roaring  creek,  all  are  included  in 
the  streams  of  the  territory.  From  an  early  day,  mills  and  factories  have 
been  built  along  these  streams.  The  gravel  road  from  Rockville  to  Annapolis 
greatly  improved  this  township,  as  did  the  construction  of  the  Indianapolis, 
Danville  &  Southern  railroad,  which  has  for  a  station  point  the  village  of 
Bloomingdale.  This  portion  of  Parke  county  was  originally  largely  of  the 
Quaker,  or  Society  of  Friends,  religious  faith.  North  Carolina  furnished 
most  of  the  pioneers.  That  was  no  desirable  home  for  people  of  this  sterling 
faith;  they  never  believed  in  slavery  and  would  not  vote  and  act  with  the 
slave-holding  element  of  the  South,  hence  sought  new  homes  in  a  strange 
land.  The  act  of  1787  declared  that  the  Northwest  Territory  should  be  free, 
and  for  this  reason,  together  with  the  natural  advantages,  many  of  the  Friends 
located  in  Indiana  and  many  came  to  Parke  county.  Among  the  first  of  this 
sect  to  locate  here  was  Perley  Mitchell,  who  came  about  1823,  and  was  soon 
followed  by  the  Tenbrooks,  the  largest  number  of  these  people  coming  in 
1824-5.     In  1829  came  John  Woody  and  sons,  James  and  Thomas.     Others 


were  Joseph  Finney,  James  Nelson,  Stephen  Kersey,  WilHam  Hunt  and  Eli 
and  James  McDaniel. 


About  1825-6  the  village  of  Annapolis  was  first  settled,  and  it  was  not 
long  before  the  ground  was  cleared  off  by  William  Maris  and  John  Moulder. 
About  the  same  date  Bloomingdale  (then  called  Bloomfield)  was  originated. 
Both  places  could  not,  of  necessity,  succeed,  and  efforts  were  made  to  unite 
the  two  and  locate  a  town  on  neutral  ground,  but  this  failed,  Annapolis  re- 
fusing to  leave  her  first  choice.  A  few  years  after  laying  off  the  village  the 
first  store  was  opened  by  Thomas  Woody,  the  next  being  started  by  a  com- 
pany consisting  of  William  Marvis,  John  Moulder  and  Aaron  Maris.  Either 
John  Moulder  or  William  Holliday  was  the  first  postmaster.  In  1880  the 
business  interests  of  the  place  consisted  of  two  dry  goods  stores  and  a  grocery, 
one  drug  store,  two  blacksmith  shops,  one  harness  shop,  a  pump  factory,  saw 
and  planing-mill,  a  pottery,  and  a  few  lesser  institutions.  For  churches  and 
schools  see  other  chapters.  The  village  now  has  about  two  hundred  popula- 

Bloomingdale,  or  Bloomfield  as  first  named,  was  platted  in  1825,  or 
1826,  south  of  the  present  site  of  the  village,  where  the  first  store  was  opened 
in  a  log  house  by  William  Pickard,  his  son  John  opening  a  drug  store,  it  being- 
through  the  efforts  of  the  latter  that  the  town  was  begun.  But  Annapolis  for 
a  time  took  away  all  the  trade  from  this  place-,  until  times  changed  conditions 
in  the  community,  after  which  Bloomingdale  overtook  and  even  greatly  sur- 
passed her  rival  at  the  north.  The  gravel  road  was  constructed  in  1864,  and 
that  aided  the  place  materially.  Then  the  building  of  the  railroad  through 
the  township  in  1873,  a  short  distance  to  the  north,  helped  Bloomingdale 

Of  the  once  famous  Bloomingdale  Academy,  the  reader  is  referred  to 
Prof.  Linebarger's  article  on  the  schools  of  Parke  county.  This  forms  an 
important  item  in  the  history  of  this  county,  wielding  as  it  did  g.reat  influence 
in  this  section  of  Indiana  for  many  years.  Bloomingdale  now  has  a  popula- 
tion of  about  five  hundred  and  twenty-five  people. 


The.  men  and  women  who  first  dared  to  invade  this  section  met  with 
much  to  dishearten  those  not  possessing  stout  hearts  and  strong  arms.  Work 
for  both  was  the  order  of  the  day,  which  meant  half  the  night  as  well.     Cloth- 


ing  all  had  to  be  prepared  and  made  from  home-made  goods.  The  busy 
house-wife  then  found  little  time  to  spin  "yarns"  as  gossiping  women  do 
now-a-days.  The  yarns  they  spun  were  of  a  better,  more  useful  variety. 
The  people  then  carded  and  spun  their  own  wool  by  hand,  the  cards  being 
fastened  to  two  pieces  of  board  a  foot  long  and  five  inches  wide,  with  handles 
in  the  center.  The  wool  was  put  on  one  of  them  with  the  hand,  and  when 
carded  enough  the  back  was  used  to  take  off  the  roll.  It  was  about  1825, 
when  Perley  Mitchell  started  his  carding  machine,  and  it  was  not  long  before 
several  others  were  in  operation.  The  machines  in  use  at  that  time  were 
similar  to  those  used  today.  The  rolls  were  about  two  feet  long,  and  when 
carded  were  rolled  up  in  a  sheet  or  blanket,  being  pinned  together  with  thorns, 
and  weighed  from  ten  to  forty  pounds.  They  were  usually  carried  home  on 
a  horse  in  front  of  the  rider,  then  spun  on  what  was  known  as  the  "big  wheel." 
From  twelve  to  forty  cuts  was  a  day's  stint,  and  the  pay  for  spinning  warp  was 
sixteen  and  two-thirds  cents;  for  filling,  a  shilling  per  dozen  cuts,  and  for 
carding  rolls,  with  machinery,  ten  to  t\A'elve  cents  per  pound.  The  wages 
paid  for  weaving  were,  for  plain,  ten  cents  a  yard :  for  twilled,  twelve  and  a 
half  cents,  from  three  to  five  yards  being  a  good  day's  work.  Two  hands 
with  machinery,  could  easily  card  and  spin  one  hundred  dozens  per  day  of 
coarse  yarn  as  was  used  at  that  time,  and  one  girl  with  a  power  loom  could 
weave  from  thirty  to  sixty  yards  per  day.  Every  woman  understood  the  art 
of  dyeing  all  colors  perfectly,  excepting  blue,  which  was  more  difficult  to 
manage  and  was  governed  by  luck  or  the  sign.  The  colors  were  obtained 
from  various  barks,  those  chiefly  used  being  walnut,  which  produced  a  favor- 
ite, fashionable  color  of  brown  goods ;  yellow,  from  black  oak  bark,  and 
swamp  ash  for  drab.  Unless  a  girl  could  do  all  these  kinds  of  work  she  was 
not  considered  "bright"  enough  for  marriage. 

About  1834,  Mahlon  Reynolds  erected  his  fulling-mill,  in  partnership 
with  Jerry  Siler,  on  section  23,  on  Leatherwood  creek.  The  machinery  con- 
sisted of  a  shearing  machine,  press  plate,  screw  press  papers,  and  copper  dye 
kettle,  which  would  contain  about  sixty  gallons,  having  been  brought  from 
Dayton,  Ohio,  a  special  trip  having  been  made  there  by  Todd  Mazwcll,  with 
a  huge  two-horse  wagon,  to  purchase  them,  and  who  later  rented  the  mill  and 
conducted  it  for  several  years.  This  fulling-mill  was  run  by  water  power,  and 
the  shearing  machine  by  hand.  The  following  prices  obtained:  Fulling, 
coloring  and  dressing  the  cloth,  twenty-five  cents  per  yard ;  without  dressing, 
twenty  cents ;  coloring  and  scouring  flannel,  ten  cents ;  coloring  and  fulling 
jeans,  ten  cents.  For  several  years  the  dye  stuffs  were  hauled  in  wagons  to 
the  mill  from  Davton,  Ohio. 


About  1827,  Simon  Rubottom  erected  the  first  grist-mill  in  the  town- 
ship on  Leatherwood  creek,  on  section  23,  the  millwright  being  an  old  man 
named  Antony.  The  machinery  consisted  of  an  under-shot  water-wheel  and 
one  run  of  stones,  or  "nigger-heads,"  each  burr  being  a  single  stone.  The 
bolt  was  a  single  reel,  twelve  feet  long,  inclosed  in  a  chest,  and  was  operated 
by  hand.  The  flour,  middlings  and  shorts,  all  fell  into  this  chest,  the  bran 
coming  out  at  the  end.  The  miller  separated  the  flour,  middlings  and  shorts 
with  a  wooden  shovel,  the  former  afterwards  being  carried  up  stairs  in  a 
half  bushel  measure  to  the  bolting  hopper.  The  building  was  a  rough  affair, 
constructed  of  logs,  without  chinking  or  daubing,  and  no  floor  except  a  little 
around  the  hopper.  When  a  fire  was  needed  it  was  made  on  the  ground,  and 
the  smoke  allowed  to  escape  through  the  cracks. 

The  first  saw-mill  in  this  neighborhood  was  that  of  Perley  Mitchell,  on 
Leatherwood  creek,  in  1826;  the  next  by  Isaiah  Pemberton,  in  1828,  a  half 
mile  up  the  same  stream.  On  account  of  bad  engineering,  later  it  was  dis- 
covered that  the  work  was  useless,  as  there  was  not  fall  enough  to  drive  the 
machinery,  when  it  was  torn  down  and  moved  to  the  other  side  of  the  creek, 
by  William  Pearson,  in  1829.  In  1831,  Adam  Siler  built  a  mill  a  half  mile 
above  the  last  named,  which  could  be  run  about  half  the  year.  Two  of  these 
mills  failed  entirely  in  1845;  that  of  Pearson  was  kept  sawing  until  1862. 
From  five  to  eight  hundred  feet  of  lumber  was  a  day's  cut.  Sometimes  they 
run  all  night  through,  and  on  Sunday  as  well.  Saw  logs  were  generally 
hauled  during  the  winter  on  sleds  drawn  by  oxen.  When  horses  were  used, 
the. simplest  harness  was  emplo3ed,  consisting  of  shuck  collars  and  rope  har- 
ness, entirely  destitute  of  iron,  save  the  bridle-bits.  "Log-chains"  were  made 
from  large  rope  twisted  together.  The  sawing  rates  were  twenty-five  cents 
per  hundred  feet  for  poplar  and  thirty-seven  and  a  half  cents  for  hard  timbers. 
Lumber  sold  at  the  mill  from  fifty  to  seventy  cents  per  hundred  feet,  and  had 
dull  sale  at  that,  until  the  prairies  west  of  the  Wabash  Ijegan  to  be  settled  up, 
when  large  quantities  were  demanded.  The  first  steam  saw-mill  was  that  of 
Jeremiah  Siler,  a  fourth  of  a  mile  south  of  Bloomingdale,  about  i860. 

In  1848  another  mill  was  built  at  Devil's  Den,  on  Sugar  creek,  in  section 
36,  by  Prior  Wright,  whose  store  at  the  Narrows  had  Ijeen  \\  ashed  away  by 
the  high  water  of  the  year  before. 

In  1837  \Villiam  G.  Coffin  erected  a  foundry  on  Leatherwood  creek,  two 
and  a  half  miles  northwest  of  Bloomingdale,  where  he  made  the  first  cast  plow- 
used  in  this  part  of  Indiana.  Owing  to  its  weight  and  clumsiness,  it  was 
never  popular  and  was  soon  dri\-en  out  of  the  markets. 



One  of  the  biggest  industries,  however,  was  that  of  constructing  flat- 
boat's.  John  M.  Kelly  gave  the  following,  in  substance,  concerning  this 
enterprise,  which  runs  as  follows : 

"The  first  flat-boat  was  built  in  the  winter  of  1833-4  at  the  Narrows  of 
Sugar  creek,  and  immediately  afterward  at  Coxy's  boat  yard,  three  miles 
away.  The  next  established  was  Campbell's  and  Tenbrook's,  at  what  is  now 
known  as  Rockport  Mill,  then  called  Devil's  Den.  A  few  years  later  the 
business  was  carried  on  extensively  at  Jessup's  Mill  on  Mill  creek,  at  Coffin's 
boat  yard,  where  the  old  foundry  stood,  and  at  several  points  above  the  nar- 
rows of  Sugar  creek.  John  Kelly  engaged  in  the  business  in  1833  at  Coxy's 
boat  yard,  the  usual  dimensions  of  boats  being  sixty  feet  long  and  sixteen 
feet  wide.  He  was  advised  by  old  boat-builders  not  to  exceed  that  size  on 
account  of  the  danger  and  difficulty  of  getting  them  out  of  Sugar  creek,  it 
being  a  crooked  and  very  rapid  stream.  This  advice  coming  from  men  older, 
and  of  more  experience  than  himself,  he  accepted  as  sound  doctrine,  until 
his  own  experience  taught  him  different.  Mr.  Kelly  stated  that  the  most  diffi- 
cult boat  to  manage  he  ever  handled  was  fifty  feet  long  and  twelve  feet  in 
width,  while  the  easiest  one  was  eighty-five  feet  long  bv  eighteen  in  width. 
About  the  average  price  of  a  boat  sixty  feet  long,  delivered  in  the  Wabash, 
was  one  hundred  dollars,  the  size  of  the  gunnels  to  secure  a  ready  sale  being 
thirty  inches  at  the  bow-rake,  which  was  the  largest  part  and  ten  inches  thick. 
A  tree  suitable  for  gunnels  used  to  cost  from  one  to  five  dollars  according 
to  distance  from  the  yard,  the  tree  being  split  into  the  necessary  size  where 
felled  and  the  gunnel  logs  hauled  by  oxen  to  the  boat-yard.  When  the  Ijoat 
was  framed  and  ready  for  the  bottom,  the  planks  are  fastened  in  their  places 
with  wooden  pins,  it  recjuiring  from  ten  to  twelve  hundred  of  them  to  com- 
plete the  job.  It  recjuires  seven  thousand  feet  of  lumber  to  build  a  sixty- 
foot  flat-boat  and  this  must  be  all  first  class,  as  there  is  no  place  for  inferior 
lumber,  save  in  the  false  floor.  From  twelve  to  twenty  pounds  of  hemp  are 
required  to  calk  a  boat  of  this  size,  after  which  the  \essel  was  ready  for 
launching.  The  boats  were  built  from  three  to  four  feet  above  the  gunnel 
and  sided  up  with  two-inch  plank,  the  same  as  the  bottom,  the  roof,  which 
had  a  pitch  of  sixteen  inches,  being  covered  with  five-eighth-inch  boards. 
The  vessels  were  run  out  of  the  creek  with  two  oars,  one  at  the  bow  and 
one  at  the  stern,  none  being  used  on  the  side  while  in  the  creek,  except  upon 
going  over  dams  when  the  water  was  low,  when  it  was  necessary  to  get  up 


as  much  headway  as  possible,  that  being  the  safest  method.  The  steering 
oar  is  made  of  the  same  length  as  the  boat,  and  so  constructed  as  to  balance 
in  the  middle.  The  steersman  stands,  or  rather  walks,  on  a  bridge  in  the 
center  of  the  vessel,  so  that  by  the  time  he  reached  New  Orleans  he  would 
walk  a  great  many  miles,  from  one  side  of  the  craft  to  the  other,  while  steer- 
ing her  on  her  course.  At  the  date  of  the  first  construction  of  flat  boats  here, 
the  cargo  consisted  entirely  of  com  and  pork,  but  a  few  years  later  crates  of 
wheat,  flour,  lumber,  staves,  hoop-poles,  potatoes,  poultry  and  even  live  hogs 
became  common.  The  amount  of  ear  corn  which  a  sixty-foot  boat  would 
carry  was  one  thousand  eight  hundred  bushels,  but  there  was  a  constantly  in- 
creasing demand  for  larger  boats  and  before  the  business  went  out  of  exist- 
ence boats  were  built  which  would  carr)'  double  that  amount." 



This  township  derived  its  name  from  its  having  been  a  part  of  the 
Indian  reservation,  which  consisted  of  a  strip  of  territory  on  the  Wabash 
river,  seven  miles  in  width,  extending  from  the  mouth  of  Sugar  creek  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Raccoon.  It  comprises  twenty-two  full  and  five  fractional  sec- 
tions, and  originally  contained  a  large  portion  of  what  is  now  Penn  town- 
ship. Its  w-estern  boundar}'  being  the  Wabash  river,  its  territory  early  at- 
tracted the  attention  of  pioneers  going  up  and  down  the  river  in  search  of 
homes.  Liberty  township  is  to  its  north,  Penn  on  the  east  and  south  is 
Wabash  township.  A  third  of  a  century  ago  and  more  this  township  was 
noted  for  having  the  largest  farms  and  some  of  the  best  in  the  county.  Ex- 
cept the  draws  and  rough  land  along  Sugar  creek,  the  entire  township  is  fitted 
for  successful  agriculture,  and  has  come  to  be  highly  improved  and  well  culti- 
vated by  men  who,  knowing  the  producing  qualities  of  the  fertile  soil,  hold 
their  lands  at  a  very  high  figure.  Eastward  fi"om  the  Wabash  river  there  is 
a  strip  of  over  two  miles  in  width,  extending  back  to  the  blufifs,  which  was 
originally  covered  with  the  finest  kind  of  heavy  timber.  The  assessed  valua- 
tion of  the  personal  and  real  property  in  this  township  in  19 12  as  shown  by 
the  county  records  was  $718,235.  Its  population  in  1910  was  2,224.  Of 
the  schools,  churches  and  lodges,  see  chapters  of  a  general  county  nature 
within  this  volume. 


Ohio  furnished  many  of  the  first  settlers  for  this  section  of  Indiana,  who, 
having  been  pioneers  in  that  state,  knew  full  ^^•ell  how  to  subdue  another 
wilderness  and  cause  it  to  blossom  like  the  rose.  North  Carolina  also  fur- 
nished many  more,  a  greater  portion  of  whom  were  of  the  Society  of  Friends, 
and  this  people  left  their  moral  and  Christian  impress  upon  the  township. 
The  Indians,  knowing  full  well  what  sort  of  men  and  women  they  had  to  cope 
with,  made  the  pioneers  their  friends.  The  first  to  come  into  what  is  Reserve 
township  to  make  a  permanent  settlement  were  the  Linebargers,  in  1822,  the 
next  being  John  "Beard,  who  erected  the  first  mill  on  Sugar  creek  in  that  vear, 
the  Browns,  Mellikins  and  Jorias  Horgar,  immigrating  at  the  same  time.     In 


the  southeastern  part,  in  1825,  came  Puett  and  Charles  Burton.  In  1826 
Solomon  Allen  arrived,  the  other  early  settlers  being  Warren  Davis,  Daniel 
VVickersham,  the  Morris  family,  Isaac  Pemberton,  Peyton  Wilson,  Abraham 
Halliday,  Jeremiah  Siler  and  others.  Another  settlement  was  that  at  Monte- 
zuma, those  in  the  van  being  Whitlock,  Majors,  Joseph  Hayes,  Webster  and 
Feeney,  who  arrived  about  1 823  or  1 824.  William  and  Thomas  Cook,  James 
and  Samuel  Hill,  Aquilla  Justin,  John  Shook  and  Chatsworth  also  arrived  at 
an  early  day.  Immigration  soon  rapidly  increased  and  poured  a  steady, 
strong  current  into  the  heart  of  the  wild  forests,  which  soon  heard  the  sound 
of  the  woodsman's  axe  and  the  land  where  for  centuries  had  stood  the  stately 
trees  was  turned  into  grain  and  corn  fields.  The  leveling  of  the  forests  also 
created  another  paying  industry,  that  of  lumbering  and  milling;  John  Beard 
erected  the  first  mill,  the  simple  corn-cracker  of  which  A\as  put  in  operation 
in  1822.  It  stood  at  what  is  now  known  as  West  Union.  It  was  a  log 
structure  and  the  grinding  arrangement  consisted  principally  of  nigger-head 
burrs,  which,  if  sharp  and  newly  dressed,  would  grind  grain  to  the  amount 
of  about  three  bushels  per  hour.  \Vhen  the  pioneer  wanted  wheat  flour  he 
had  to  go  to  Roseville,  where  the  nearest  flouring  mill  was  situated.  In  1826 
Solomon  Lusk  erected  a  mill  at  the  Narrows,  and  in  1827  Simon  Rubbottom 
built  one  on  Leatherwood  creek,  and  in  the  same  year  another  mill  was  put 
up  near  Armiesburg,  after  which  the  settlers  had  milling  nearer  home.  The 
implements  used  at  an  early  day  were  of  rude  construction,  and  the  following" 
description,  written  many  years  since,  will  give  the  reader  an  idea  of  their 
character  in  general :  Of  course  the  axe  was  first  in  importance  and  was 
used  for  many  mechanical  purposes.  It  was  designed  for  practical  every- 
day use,  more  for  what  it  would  do  than  for  its  beauty  or  ornamentation. 
The  Carey  plow,  the  most  generally  in  use,  was  a  rude  afifair,  having  a 
wrought  iron  share  and  a  wooden  mould-board.  This  was  succeeded  in  1839 
by  the  cast-iron  plow  made  by  W.  G.  Coflin  at  his  foundry,  two  or  three 
miles  northwest  of  Bloomingdale.  This  implement  was,  however,  so  clumsy 
and  heavy  that  it  never  amounted  to  much  for  practical  use.  Then  came  the 
Peacock  plow,  which  had  a  cast  mould-board  and  a  wrought  iron  share.  It 
was  made  at  Cincinnati  and  superseded  all  others.  Five  years  later  the  Rich- 
mond steel  plow  appeared  on  the  markets  and  came  into  favor  among  the 
farmers.  The  fields  of  the  pioneer  were  not  large,  hence  the  crops  were  not 
heavy  to  plant  or  culti\ate.  There  being  no  markets  for  several  years  there 
was  no  incentive  to  grow  much  more  than  home  consumption  deriianded. 
The  flail  was  the  implement  first  used  in  threshing  out  the  grain  harvested, 
but  was  soon  exchanged  for  that  better  method  of  securing  the  wheat,  that 


of  treading  out  by  horses  or  oxen  tramping  the  grain,  after  which  the  chaff 
was  blown  out  by  means  of  the  wind,  or  by  a  sheet  in  the  liands  of  two  i>er- 
sons,  making  an  improvised  "fan."  The  earHest  threshing  machine  in  Re- 
serve township  was  about  1840,  owned  by  Elsberry  Jinnet,  and  was  a  very 
incomplete  affair,  threshing  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  bushels  per  day,  and 
delivering  the  grain  and  chaff  together,  later  to  be  separated  with  a  fan.  A 
two-horse  tread-power  was  employed  to  run  this  machine.  Soon  the  four- 
horse  Ground  Hog  machine  came  into  use,  and  as  the  }'ears  went  by  improved 
machines  were  invented. 

The  mowing  scythe,  hand-rake  and  wooden  pitchfork  were  the  imple- 
ments of  hay  and  harvest,  the  latter  often  being  a  forked  sapling  with  its 
rough  prongs  sharpened.  The  grain  scoop  was  not  known  for  se\ eral  )ears. 
In  cribbing  corn  it  was  either  thrown  with  the  hands  or  pushed  out  of  the  end 
of  the  wagon  with  the  feet.  The  first  scoop  made  in  the  township  w  as  made 
of  wood,  and  owned  by  John  Fortner.  In  about  1S38  iron  scoops  came  into 
common  use. 

On  account  of  this  township  being  reserve  land,  it  was  not  opened  up  to 
the  public  as  soon  as  that  in  other  parts  of  the  county.  Game  of  all  kinds 
remained  here  some  time  after  the  animals  had  been  driven  from  other  set- 
tlements. Black  bear  could  be  found  occasionally  after  the  arrival  of  the 
first  settlers;  in  fact,  in  1827  Solomon  Allen  killed  one  in  his  door  yard. 
Deer  were  seen  in  large  droves  and  furnished  the  settlers  \\ith  an  abundance 
of  good  meat,  while  their  skins  were  used  for  a  number  of  practical  purposes. 
Wild  turkeys  were  formerly  very  abundant,  while  ducks  and  geese  were  num- 
berless. The  raccoon,  opossom,  fox,  mink,  otter,  wolf,  muskrat,  weasels  and 
other  fur-bearing  animals  were  found  in  large  numbers. 

Flat-boating  was  largely  carried  on  from  this  part  of  the  county,  such 
vessels  being  the  only  means  of  conveyance  and  transportation  of  produce  to 
markets,  and  the  building  and  manning  of  these  crude  crafts  gave  employ- 
ment to  many  men.  A  boat-yard  was  situated  near  the  mouth  of  Rush  creek 
at  a  very  early  date,  and  at  several  points  on  Sugar  creek,  as  noted  in  the  his- 
tory of  Penn  township. 

The  first  school  in  this  township  was  in  the  Linebarger  .settlement  in 
1824.  The  first  birth  was  that  of  Joseph  Allen,  in  1827,  and  the  first 
recorded  death  was  Solomon  Allen's  infant,  alxiut  the  vear  1827.  The  first 
wedding  was  that  uniting  Jeremiah  Morris  and  Mary  .Vnn  Lewis.  The 
arrival  of  Mr.  Allen  in  the  country  was  quite  a  help  to  the  settlement,  as  he 
was  a  wheelwright  and  cabinet-maker,  and  made  coftins,  for  which  he  receixed 
fi-om  twenty-five  cents  to  three  dollars  each.     After  paying  for  his  land,  after 


coming  in,  he  had  eighty-seven  cents  left  to  begin  home-building  with.  On 
finishing  his  cabin  he  immediately  seasoned  lumber,  from  which  he  con- 
structed tubs,  buckets  and  other  articles  of  domestic  use,  the  proceeds  from 
the  sale  of  which  enabled  him  to  live  until  he  got  a  few  acres  cleared  up,  and 
then  raised  a  crop.  The  second  season  of  his  residence  here  he  spent  seventy- 
two  days  assisting  his  neighbors  in  log  rolling  and  raising  cabins  and  barns. 


Montezuma  and  Coloma  are  the  two  town  plattings  within  this  township 
around  which  clusters  some  of  tlie  interesting  histoiy  of  this  subdivision  of 
Parke  county.  Montezuma  is  situated  in  the  southwest  corner  of  Reserve 
township,  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Wabash  river,  and  was  a  place  of  early- 
clay  importance  in  this  section  of  Indiana,  when  the  Wabash  river  and  the  old 
\Vabash  &  Erie  canal  were  the  great  water-ways  and  outlets  to  the  outside 
markets  The  town  was  laid  off  by  Whitlock  and  Majors  about  1824,  and 
a  larger  platting  effected  in  canal  days  by  Ambrose  Whitlock,  July  20,  1849, 
on  sections  25,  26,  35  and  36,  township  16,  range  9.  The  first  store  was 
opened  by  Joseph  M.  Hayes ;  the  next  by  Nesmith,  whose  stock,  it  is  related, 
consisted  of  two  bolts  of  calico  and  a  barrel  of  whisky.  The  third  store  was 
Feeney's.  The  first  justice  of  the  peace  was  Mr.  Chatsworth,  and  the  first 
physician  was  Dr.  Samuel  Hill,  who  arrived  at  an  early  day.  The  first  frame 
house,  and  which  was  standing  about  thirty  years  ago,  or  possibly  later,  was 
built  by  Mr.  Webster.  It  should  be  remembered  that  the  Wabash  river  towns 
of  that  long  ago  day  consisted  of  Montezuma,  Covington,  Portland,  Attica, 
Williamsport,  LaGrange  and  Lafayette,  and  a  spirited  rivalry  was  on  between 
these  points  for  the  supremacy.  As  river  towns  they  all  were  equallv  situ- 
ated as  to  commeixial  importance  and  for  years  it  was  hard  to  tell  which 
would  finally  terminate  in  a  city  of  goodly  proportions.  Keel-boats  and 
pirogues  touched  all  of  these  landings  and  the  same  pioneer  steamboats  did 
carrying  trade  for  each.  Eventually,  Lafayette  obtained  and  kept  the  prize, 
it  ha\  ing  secured  a  railroad  before  the  other  towns.  However,  upon  the  com- 
pletion of  the  Wabash  &  Erie  canal  in  1850,  Montezuma  took  on  a  new  life 
and  up  to  i860  was  the  most  prosperous  period  it  had  ever  experienced. 
Business  of  all  kinds,  for  all  this  section  of  country  on  both  sides  the  river.' 
was  carried  forwai'd  in  good  and  enterprising  shape.  The  business  of  clos- 
ing the  canal,  efifected  about  1873,  sounded  a  death  knell  to  many,  industries 
at  Montezuma,  but  the  building  of  the  Decatur,  Indianapolis  &  Springfield 
railroad,  in  that  year,  brought  new  hope  to  the  citizens  of  the  river  town. 


for  here  a  station  was  established  and  the  company  erected  their  shops  there. 
Since  then  the  town  has  gone  along  in  its  quiet  manner,  ebbing  and  falling 
like  the  ocean's  tide,  some  decades  being  better  than  others,  but  never  reaching" 
the  once  fancied  greatness  it  hoped  to  attain  to.  In  1880  the  town  had  a  large 
flouring-mill,  four  grain  warehouses,  two  saw-mills,  one  planing-mill,  a  pack- 
ing and  slaughter  house,  two  dry  goods  stores,  two  drug  stores,  six  groceries, 
one  clothing  store,  one  hotel,  a  livery,  agricultural  implement  warehouse  and 
two  saloons.  Its  population  then  numbered  about  700,  and  that  of  the  town- 
ship was  1,550.  The  1910  census  gave  Montezuma  a  population  of  1,537, 
and  Reserve  township  was  given  as  2,224.  In  1880  the  assessed  valuation  of 
Montezuma  corporation  was  in  personal  property,  $105,075,  and  of  real 
estate,  $123,060,  while  the  township  had  $456,466.  Today  (,1912)  the  valua- 
tion of  real  and  personal  property  in- Montezuma  is  $420,888,  and  in  the  town- 
ship a  total  of  $718,235. 

In  1880,  the  railroad  repair  shops  were  burned  and  man}-  men  thrown 
out  of  employment,  which  tended  to  injure  the  growth  of  the  place. 

Disastrous  fires,  too,  have  played  their  part  in  hindering  the  growth  of 
Montezuma.  Among  these  was  that  of  1907,  which  destroyed  the  newly 
built  Sanitarium  hotel,  a  mineral  water  resort  of  modern  type,  with  more  than 
forty  elegant  rooms  and  all  modern  fixtures.  The  artesian  well  furnished  a 
superior  water  to  many  of  the  well-known  and  successful  health  resorts  of 
the  country.  The  property  on  which  flows  the  artesian  water  is  owned  by, 
at  least  controlled,  by  William  Montgomery. 

The  old  flouring-mill,  after  manj^  years,  was  converted  into  a  cob- 
grinding  mill,  which  when  it  was, doing  a  good  business,  in  1909,  was  also 
burned  and  never  rebuilt.  To  the  east  of  town  a  few  miles  is  located  one  of 
the  largest  brick-making  plants  in  the  state.  It  is  known  as  the  Marion 
Brick  Works. 


At  present  Montezuma  has  the  following  interests: 
The  First  National  Bank,  Citizens  Bank. 
Montezuma  Enterprise,  C.  S.  Overman. 
Postmistress,  Emma  Powell. 
Hotel,  D.  I.  Dunlap. 

General  stores — J.  E.  Johnson  &  Co.,  William  H.  King,  Kemp  Bros., 
W.  B.  Pawley,  M.  Watson. 

Hardware — Cornwell  &  Spencer 
Drugs— A.  B.  Powell,  F.  S.  Stebbins. 


Harness — Charles  Fortner. 

Clothing — Harry  Reeder. 

Elevator — Rohm  Bros. 

Feed  mill — George  Mathas. 

Cement  blocks — William  Carty  and  Wallace  Dietz,  contractors. 

Lumber — ^Montezuma  Lumber  Company. 

Furniture — Hugh  Montgomeiy  &  Company. 

Restaurants — Alexander  Leslie,  John  Gilmore. 

Tin  Shop  and  Sheet  Metals — L  A.  Sharp. 

Livery — Cheesewright  &  Machin.  D.  M.  Scott. 

Blacksmiths — Richard  Mcintosh,  H.  Webster,  H.  Welchans. 

Meats — A.  B.  Jones,  W.  P.  Pawley,  H.  Aikman. 

Physicians — Mrs.  R.  L.  Dooley,  J.  C.  Reeder,  O.  A.  Xewhouse. 

Veterinary  Surgeon — Dr.  Back. 

Carpet  factory — S.  Case. 

Automobile  Garage — Pitman  &  Co. 

Gravel  companies — Three  in  number. 

Saloons — Four  in  number. 

Barbershops — Three  in  number. 

Transfer  company — H.  Reirdan. 

Dental  Surgeon — One. 

Photograph  gallery — One. 

Jewelry — One. 

Machine  shoi^ — A.  E.  Higbee. 

Newspaper — The  Enterprise. 


The  history  of  the  corporations  here  dates  back  to  a  very  early  date. 
The  1912  officers  are:  President,  William  Whitson;  members,  H.  D.  Coffin, 
Fred  Dicken,  Dr.  B.  F.  Hudson,  George  Mathas;  treasurer,  Joseph  Taylor; 
clerk,  O.  N.  Henderson;  marshal,  N.  S.  Wheeler. 

In  1906  an  electric  light  plant  was  installed,  the  power  coming  from  and 
furnished  by  the  Burns  &  Hancock  brick  plant  on  the  west  side  of  the  Wabash 
river.  It  has  been  a  success  and  the  forty  street  lights  are  now  no  expense  to 
the  town,  as  the  plant  is  more  than  self-sustaining,  and  it  is  designed,  as 
soon  as  possible,  to  erect  new  works  in  the  town  proper  and  add  water  works, 
making  a  combined  plant. 


The  churches  of  Montezuma  are:     The  Methodist,  Presbyterian,  Chris- 
tian, United  Brethren,  HoHness  and  the  Cathohc. 

The  lodges  are  Masonic,  Odd  Fellows  and  Knights  of  Pythias. 

Coloma  is  a  small  hamlet  situated  on  sections  33  and  34,  of  Reserve 
township.  Its  population  is  about  two  hundred.  It  is  located  on  Rocky  run, 
and  was  laid  out  in  1876,  but  was  located  in  1864,  when  William  Lewis 
opened  a  store  there.  M.  Morris  purchased  this  store,  and  was  appointed  the 
first  postmaster.  For  many  years  William  P.  Musgrave  conducted  the  only 
store  of  the  place.  Rocky  Run  Friends  church  was  located  at  this  point 
many  years  since.  This  village  serves  well  the  surrounding  community  in 
which  it  is  pleasantly  situated. 



Tile  Indians  called  the  two  streams  now  known  as  Big  and  Little  Rac- 
coon creeks,  "Big  and  Little  Coon."  These  streams  both  cross  this  township 
and  hence  its  name.  The  township,  which  is  six  miles  square  and  contains 
twenty  thousand  and  forty  acres,  is  situated  in  the  southern  tier  of  townships. 
The  land  was  once  densely  covered  by  a  forest  of  giant  trees,  which  had  to  be 
cut  down  before  the  surface  was  suited  for  farming;  this  was  a  great  task, 
but  was  finally  accomplished  by  the  sturdy  pioneers'  axe.  In  the  Raccoon  bot- 
toms the  land  is  composed  of  a  rich  alluvial  soil,  yielding  large  crops  of  corn 
and  wheat.  Other  parts  of  this  township  are  not  so  fertile  and  productive, 
but  since  draining  has  been  made,  and  several  marshes  reclaimed,  there  is 
much  good  land  outside  the  bottoms.  What  is  known  as  the  "Ten  O'Clock 
Line,"  which  divides  the  old  and  new  purchases,  crosses  this  township  from 
sections  6  to  36. 


Just  who  was  the  first  person  to  actually  settle  in  this  township  is  not 
fully  established.  James  Kerr  and  Dempsey  Seybold  came  into  the  township 
and  selected  lands  in  1816,  but  there  seems  no  authority  showing  that  any 
permanent  settlement  was  effected  until  1818,  when  Dempsey  Seybold  came 
with  his  family  from  Kentucky,  and  settled  on  section  20,  later  known  as  the 
Jeffries  property.  Mr.  Seybold  brought  his  wife  and  at  least  one  child, 
Thomas  K.,  born  in  1816,  who  afterwards  married  and  became  the  father  of  a 
family,  among  whom  were  W.  H.  H.  Dempsey,  C.  John  and  James  H.,  all 
well  known  settlers  of  Raccoon  township  in  later  years.  It  is  certain  that  Mr. 
Seybold  was  the  second  settler  in  this  township  north  of  the  Big  Raccoon 
creek,  there  being  only  one  other  in  the  vicinity  at  the  time,  and  only  three 
families  in  Parke  county  north  of  the  Big  Raccoon.  Mr.  Seybold  became 
influential  and  was  one  of  the  men  who  helped  to  locate  the  county  seat  and 
court  house  square  of  Vigo  county,  in  Terre  Haute.  He  later  served  as  judge 
of  the  court  as  an  associate  judge.  He  died  on  June  3,  1835,  leaving  at  least 
two  sons,  Thomas  K.  and  Dempsey.  Thomas  K.  was  murdered  at  Terre 
Haute,  April  9,  1850,  and  the  hand  that  perpetrated  the  crime  was  not  known 


for  several  years,  when  at  last  a  man  from  Illinois,  on  his  death-bed,  con- 
fessed the  deed.  Before  the  Seybolds  could  reach  the  sick  man  death  had 
remo\ed  the  criminal,  so  that  the  mystery  was  never  fully  understood.  About 
the  time  last  mentioned,  came  in  the  Mitchells.  William  D.  Mitchell  was  born 
in  Raccoon  township  February  22,    1818.     The  Millers  settled  here  either 

1818  or  1819,  for  John  B.  Miller  was  born  here  August  25,  1819.  It  is  said 
that  the  first  log  cabin  built  in  the  township  was  by  one  Richardson.  Other 
settlers  in  1818-19  were  the  Adamses,  Samuel,  Sr.,  William,  Andrew,  James, 
John  and  Samuel  Adams,  also  William  Nevins  and  possibly  a  few  more.     In 

1819  Nathaniel  Bliss  Kalle}-,  then  nineteen  years  of  age,  came  from  Ohio  to 
Raccoon  township  and  leased  a  farm  from  David  Hansel.  There  were  not 
enough  men  in  the  community  to  raise  Dickson's  mill,  so  Indians  were  pressed 
into  such  work.  With  Indian  Bill,  Nathaniel  Kalley  used  to  sport  in 
wrestling  matches.  He  raised  a  crop  of  corn  and  then  returned  to  Ohio  and 
in  1821  or  1822  returned  with  his  father  and  mother,  and  family  of  wife  and 
one  child,  Ruth,  he  having  been  married  to  Rebecca  Hansel  in  Ohio.  He 
rented  till  1831,  when  he  entered  the  west  half  of  the  northeast  cjuarter  of 
section  11,  township  14,  range  7.  His  patent  was  signed  by  Andrew  Jackson, 
President  of  the  United  States.  He  was  one  of  the  township's  best  and  most 
stirring  men.  His  father,  David,  entered  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres  east 
of  Nathaniel's,  where  he  spent  the  remainder  of  his  years.  At  about  this 
time,  and  very  soon  thereafter,  came  in  Jacob  Bell,  John  Blue,  John  Morrow, 
James  Barnes,  John  Robinson,  Joseph  Ralston,  John  Prince  and  Vincent  Jack- 

In  1820  \A"illiam  Rea.  father  of  the  first  clerk  of  Parke  county,  came,  in 
company  with  James  Boyd  and  James  Fannin,  from  Chillicothe,  Ohio,  and 
settled  on  the  southwest  cjuarter  of  section  7,  in  Raccoon  township,  and  there 
erected  a  log  cabin,  which  still  stood  thirty  years  ago,  having  always  served 
as  a  comfortable  dwelling  house.  He  was  the  first  to  locate  on  the  Little  Rac- 
coon. Either  in  the  autumn  of  182 1  or  the  spring  of  1822,  John  Sunderland, 
Sr.,  and  son,  John,  Jr.,  came  from  Ohio  and  located  on  the  northeast  quarter 
of  section  6,  and  a  son-in-law  of  [Mr.  Sunderland,  Henry  Green,  settled  on  the 
east  half  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  5.  In  the  fall  of  1820  Thomas 
Gilkinson,  in  company  with  James  Buchanan,  came  to  what  is  now  Raccoon 
township  and  entered  their  land.  In  the  spring  of  1821  Thomas  Gilkinson 
came  in  and  took  land  in  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  5,  built  a  cabin, 
cleared  off  a  few  acres  and  tended  his  crop  of  corn,  and  in  the  fall  of  that 
vear  brought  his  wife  and  five  children  from  Kentuckv  and  settled  in  what 


was  then  a  wilderness  of  wood  and  wild  animals.  In  182 1  Jeptha  Garrigus 
moved  to  Raccoon  township,  bringing  his  family  in  a  boat  down  the  Ohio 
ri\er,  up  the  Wabash  and  Big  Raccoon,  into  the  southwest  part  of  Raccoon 
township,  where  he  settled.  Jeptha  is  supposed  to  have  brought  the  first  rats 
to  this  region  among  his  articles  of  freight.  He  had  thirteen  children,  and 
had  served  as  a  colonel  in  the  war  of  181 2.  When  he  was  married,  at  his 
request  the  following  marriage  ceremony  took  place:  "I,  Tobias  Miller,  jus- 
tice of  the  peace  for  the  county  of  Parke,  do  hereby  certify  that  Jeptha  Gar- 
rigus and  Polly  Kratdzer  are  joined  together  in  marriage  as  long  as  they 
could  agree,  by  me  this  October  24,  1834.  John  G.  Danis,  clerk." 

About  this  time  there  were  three  separate  settlements  in  Raccoon  town- 
ship :  The  Bell  and  Garrigus  settlement,  in  the  southern  part ;  the  settlement 
around  "Sodom,"  so  called  on  account  of  its  distillery  and  the  general  wicked- 
ness of  the  place ;  it  is  now  Bridgeton ;  and  the  settlement  in  the  northwestern 
port,  known  as  the  Pleasant  Valley  settlement. 

From  1820  to  1830  prominent  among  the  newcomers  were  James  Hop- 
per, the  Hartmans,  Charles  Beacham.  Samuel  Crooks,  William  Rea  and 
Robert  Martin.  These  early  settlers  were  men  of  sturdy,  honest  yeomanry 
of  the  Eastern  and  Southern  states,  who  desired  free  and  independent  homes 
of  their  own.  Indeed,  through  all  those  long  years  of  hardships,  they  were 
building  far  better  than  they  knew,  and  their  children  and  children's  children 
are  now  reaping  the  reward  of  those  pioneer  years  on  the  part  of  those  early- 
day  toilers  and  builders. 


The  Lock.vood  mills,  later  known  as  ihe  Bridgeton  mills,  were  Iniilt  by 
Lockwood  anill  Ailliman  about  1823,  but  owned  by  Oniel  and  Wasson.  Daniel 
Kalley  later  owned  the  mill  site.  It  changed  hands  several  times  and  finally 
burned  down.  The  next  fall  the  records  runs  that  "the  people  got  up  a  frolic, 
got  out  logs  and  built  a  new  mill."  It  was  run  till  1869  and  burned  again, 
but  replaced  by  a  large  frame  structure,  four  stories  high,  costing  fourteen 
thousand  dollars. 

The  first  saw-mill  on  Little  Raccoon  \\as  l>uilt  by  Thomas  Gilkinson  in 


Catlin,  Bridgeton  and  Diamond  are  the  three  platted  villages  within  Rac- 
coon township.  Away  back  in  the  early  years,  when  the  surrounding  country 
was  little  else  than  a  wilderness,  and  the  old  stage  routes  connected  the  prin- 


cipal  points  of  civilization,  there  began  on  the  banks  of  the  Big  Raccoon  what 
is  now  the  sprightly  prosperous  town  of  Bridgeton.  The  start  was  the  erec- 
tion of  a  mill  that  cracked  corn.  This  was  about  1821.  Nathaniel  Smock 
opened  a  store,  and  later  a  distillery  started  up  and  was  operated  many  years. 
This  made  a  bad  neighborhood  which  many  years  ago  reformed  and  is  no 
longer  known  as  it  was  once,  as  "Sodom."  Mulligan  &  Ketchum  also  handled 
general  merchandise  at  this  point,  and  sold  to  Mr.  Searing.  The  town  was 
then  platted  and  Smock  &  McFarland  were  the  leading  merchants.  In  1856 
Dr.  James  Crooks  settled  in  Bridgeton.  His  father  was  William  B.  Crooks, 
the  first  physician  in  Raccoon  township.  Milk-sickness  was  an  awfully 
dreaded  disorder  of  early  days,  and  Dr.  Crooks  seemed  to  have  a  fair  specific 
for  it  and  was  very  successful  in  treating  his  scores  of  patients. 

The  location  of  Bridgeton  is  section  22,  township  14,  range  7  west.  It 
was  platted  by  James  and  Mary  Searing,  March  27,  1857,  and  was  named 
from  the  bridge  across  the  Big  Raccoon  at  that  paint.  In  1880  it  had  one 
hundred  and  twent}-  population,  but  now  has  two  hundred  and  twenty-five. 

Catlin  is  a  station  point  on  the  Vandalia  railroad.  It  took  its  origin  from 
the  fact  tliat  the  railroad  ran  through  that  part  of  the  to\\nship  and  in  the 
early  years  of  the  Civil  war,  Hiram  Catlin.  a  Mr.  ]\Iontgomeiy  and  Henry 
Miller  owning  the  land,  it  was  thought  best  to  start  a  town  and  shipping  point. 
Hence  Mr.  Catlin  erected  a  grain  warehouse  there,  he  having  for  a  partner 
in  liis  enterprise  Thomas  Harshman.  They  bought  grain  and  carried  a  small 
stock  of  general  merchandise.  In  1861  a  blacksmith  shop  was  built  by  James 
Sanderson,  and  Joseph  Terry  built  a  wagon  shop.  The  early  growth  of  Cat- 
lin was  due  largely  to  the  enterprise  of  James  Ray,  who  came  from  Ohio  to 
Vigo  county  in  1820,  and  to  Catlin  in  1861.  In  1862  he  erected  his  saw-mill, 
and  in  1865  a  good  grist-mill.  He  also  built  a  store  room,  with  a  public  hall 
above.  In  all  he  built  seven  of  the  best  early-day  buildings  in  the  hamlet.  A 
postoffice  was  secured  in  1862,  and  Thomas  Catlin  was  appointed  postmaster 
by  President  Lincoln.  For  many  years  Catlin  was  the  chief  depot  for  the 
extensive  stave  trade  of  this  community,  and  the  material  was  supplied  bv 
two  saw-mills  near  by,  Hamilton's  and  Wakefield's. 

Today  Catlin  is  a  good  town,  with  many  excellent  business  houses  and 
tasty  residences.  Its  population  is  less  than  two  hundred.  The  schools, 
churches  and  lodges  of  this  town,  as  well  as  all  others  in  the  county,  are 
treated  under  separate  headings. 

The  population  of  the  township  in  1910  was  1,702.  The  total  assessed 
valuation  of  property  in  Raccoon  township  in  1912  is  $958,720. 


At  Catlin  is  the  great  Standard  oil  pumping  station,  with  its  large  tanks. 
This  company  pays  taxes  on  $100,000  worth  of  property  in  Parke  county. 

The  village  of  Diamond,  in  this  township,  was  the  outgrowth  of  the 
large  coal  mining  interests  of  that  section  of  Parke  county.  It  was  platted 
on  section  34,  township  14,  range  7,  December  10,  1893,  by  the  Brazil  Block 
Coal  Company.  It  became  a  prosperous  town  and  all  the  common  branches 
of  business  were  carried  on  successfully  so  long  as  the  mines  were  running  in 
full  blast,  but  because  of  decline  in  the  mining  interests,  trouble  with  labor 
and  capital  and  other  causes,  the  town  is  not  as  good  as  fomierly.  Its  popu- 
lation in  1910  was  placed  by  the  census  bureau  at  1,007,  which  has  materially 
decreased  and  the  corporation  of  the  town  has  applied  to  be  annulled  and  it 
will  be  assessed  and  cared  for  under  the  old  township  government  after  191 2. 



In  the  north  central  portion  of  Parke  count)'  is  Sugar  Creek  township. 
It  is  on  the  north  line  of  the  county,  west  of  Howard,  north  of  Penn,  and 
east  of  Liberty  township.  It  was  originally  a  part  of  Howard  township,  but 
later  a  part  of  Penn  township;  it  was  divided  in  1855,  and  now  contains 
twenty-three  full  and  five  fractional  sections.  The  topography  of  this  part 
of  Parke  county  is  very  rough  and  hilly,  but  even  these  hilly  lands  are  val- 
uable, as  they  afford  a  w-onderful  grazing  tract  and  as  such  have  yielded 
millions  of  dollars  worth  of  stock  and  wool  to  the  owners.  Greene,  Brush, 
Mill  and  Sugar  creeks  and  numerous  branches  flow  through  this  township, 
having  in  years  gone  by  furnished  splendid  power  for  the  mills  located  along 
their  banks.  In  1912  the  total  personal  and  real  estate  valuation,  according 
to  the  county  records  for  this  township,  was  $354,395.  Its  population  in  1910 
\^•as  placed  at  680. 

The  first  settlement  has  about  all  been  recited,  so  far  as  interest  is  con- 
cerned today,  in  giving  the  establishment  of  the  first  mills,  etc.  In  1826,  at 
the  narrows  of  Sugar  creek,  was  built  the  first  mill  in  this  part  of  the  county, 
by  Solomon  Lusk.  He  cut  and  blasted  the  mill-race  through  the  rock  and 
erected  a  large  mill,  making  a  good  grade  of  flour.  He  also  established  a  pork 
packing  house,  and  shipped  large  amounts  of  grain,  pork  and  flour  to  points 
as  far  south  as  New  Orleans.  He  sent  as  many  as  twenty  flat-boats  to  that 
gulf  port  annually.  At  the  same  place,  in  1830,  Prior  Wright  opened  the  first 
store  in  the  township,  which,  along  with  the  mill  and  other  valuable  holdings, 
were  all  swept  down  the  stream  by  the  floods  on  New  Year's  morning,  1847. 
In  the  north  part  of  the  township  the  settlers  commenced  to  pour  in  by  1827, 
among  the  first  being  David  Allen,  T.  Poplit,  John  Summers,  Daniel  Myers, 
Thomas  Ratcliffe,  Walter  Clark,  Jesse  Barker,  John  and  Thomas  Cachatt 
and  Esquire  Moore.  In  the  southern  part  came  in  Joseph  Thompson,  Elisha 
Heath,  William  Floj^d,  William  Jenkins,  James  Bacus,  William  Cox  and 
Zimri  Hunt. 

The  second  mill  was  built  on  Mill  creek,  on  the  later  site  of  Russell's 
mills,  by  Joseph  Thompson  in  1829,  the  dam  being  formed  by  felling  a  large 


poplar  tree  which  stood  on  the  bank  of  the  stream,  and  letting  it  fall  across 
the  stream.  This  dam  lasted  for  twenty  years.  The  original  mill  was  a 
small  affair,  in  a  log  house,  in  which  corn  was  cracked  by  a  pair  of  nigger- 
head  stones,  the  grain  when  ground  being  bolted  by  hand,  the  water-power 
bolting  machine  being  an  improvement  put  in  later.  Thomas  Cachatt  oper- 
ated this  mill  until  his  death,  in  1842,  when  it  was  sold  to  Jerry  Kemp,  and 
later  still  it  was  owned  by  Joe  Russell.  In  the  seventies  this  mill  was  refitted 
and  converted  into  a  steam  mill,  with  water  power  when  there  was  a  sufficient 

Wilkins'  mill,  on  Mill  creek,  was  erected  by  Jessup  &  Hunt  in  1835,  ^''^t 
as  a  saw-mill,  then  changed  to  a  saw  and  carding-mill,  and  still  later  with  a 
corn  cracking  mill.  In  1852  it  was  sold  to  Wilkins,  who  took  the  old  mill 
down  and  rebuilt  on  the  south  side  of  the  stream.  It  was  finally  burned  in 
1877;  Mr.  Wilkins  died  and  it  was  never  rebuilt. 

The  first  meeting  house  in  this  township  was  a  log  house  near  the  center 
of  section  16,  built  about  1830  by  the  Methodists.  In  the  northeast  corner  of 
section  i  was  erected  what,  in  1879,  was  the  oldest  church  building  in  use  in 
the  county,  and  probably  the  oldest  in  this  part  of  Indiana.  It  was  built  in 
1835  by  the  Baptist  denomination,  and  known  as  the  Wolf  Creek  Baptist 
church.     The  congregation  was  formed  in  1833. 

The  first  public  road  was  constructed  through  this  section  in  1835,  by 
James  Bacus,  and  styled  the  Greencastle  and  Perryville  road,  of  which  the 
pioneers  were  very  proud.  This  township  had  numerous  Grange  lodges  in 
the  palmy  days  of  the  Patrons  of  Husbandry,  but  they  have  long  since  gone 
the  way  of  all  the  earth,  and  "middle  men,"  legitimate  dealers,  have  taken  the 
place  of  half  farmer  and  half  merchant  men. 

At  Russell  Mills  postoffice  a  large  flouring  mill  was  erected,  and  a  few 
stores  opened,  a  shop  or  two  started  and  a  physician  located  there  before  1879. 
Another  large  store  was  started  at  what  was  known  as  Orangeburg;  also  Dr. 
Williamson  located  at  that  point.  There  are  no  towns  or  villages  within  this 
township  at  this  date. 


A  former  history  of  this  township  gives  the  following  concerning  the 
death  of  old  Johnny  Green,  the  noted  Indian  chief  : 

"The  last  Indian  killed  in  this  part  of  the  country  was  old  Johnny  Green. 
He  was  a  bad  Indian  in  fact.  His  own  people  would  not  let  him  associate 
with  them.    One  day  Henry  Litzey  and  some  more  of  the  old  settlers  were  at 


old  John  Beard's  mill,  at  the  mouth  of  Sugar  creek,  after  flour;  the  old  Indian 
also  happened  to  visit  the  mill  at  that  time  and  began  boasting  of  the  number 
of  women  and  children  he  had  killed.  In  place  of  going  on  the  war  path 
with  the  warriors,  he  used  to  skulk  around  the  settlement  and  slaughter  the 
defenseless  females  and  infants  and  on  this  occasion  was  boasting  of  his 
exploits  in  that  line,  and  telling  with  great  glee  how  he  used  to  impale  the 
little  innocents  on  saplings  and  laughed  as  he  described  how  they  would 
shriek  and  cross  their  little  arms  about.  This  aroused  Mr.  Litzey's  manhood 
and  he  at  once  proceeded  to  inflict  corporal  punishment  on  the  old  heathen. 
The  other  men,  however,  interfered  and  the  matter  dropped.  On  his  way 
home  on  horseback,  Mr.  Litzey  heard  the  report  of  a  gun  and  felt  a  bullet 
whistle  past  him;  glancing  behind,  he  observed  the  Indian,  with  a  smoking 
rifle  in  his  hand,  peering  from  behind  a  tree.  Being  unarmed,  he  at  once  put 
spurs  to  his  horse  and  rode  at  a  lively  gait  for  a  mile  or  two,  when,  thinking 
he  had  gone  out  of  the  reach  of  danger,  he  again  dropped  into  a  walk.  Again 
he  heard  the  report  of  a  rifle  and  again  felt  the  wind  from  the  bullet  pass 
close  by  his  head,  and  not  being  willing  to  run  the  risk  of  a  third  shot,  pro- 
ceeded home  as  fast  as  possible  and  arrived  in  safety.  On  reaching  the  house 
he  took  his  gun  and  went  off  on  a  hunt,  and  Johnny  Green  was  never  seen 
again  in  that  part  of  the  country.  It  was  never  known  for  certain  who  had 
put  him  out  of  the  way,  but  public  opinion  always  gave  Mr.  Litzev  the  credit 
of  the  act,  though  he  would  never  acknowledge  it,  always  stating  that  the  last 
time  he  saw  the  Indian,  he  observed  him  sitting  on  a  flat  rock  in  Sugar  creek, 
just  below  the  Narrows,  fishing;  suddenly  he  jumped  up  as  if  crazy  and  dived 
into  the  water,  from  which  he  never  arose." 



Union  township  constitutes  all  of  township  15,  range  6,  hence  is  just  six 
miles  square.  It  is  one  of  the  eastern  tiers  of  townships  in  Parke  county,  and 
is  bounded  on  the  north  by  Greene,  on  the  west  by  Adams,  on  the  south  by 
Jackson,  and  on  the  east  by  Putnam  county.  The  main  streams  that  water 
and  drain  the  township  are  the  Big  Raccoon,  Troutman's  run,  Limestone 
branch  of  Raccoon,  Rocky  Fork  and  others  of  lesser  importance.  Bain's 
branch  has  its  source  in  the  east  and  flows  west,  uniting  with  the  larger  stream 
in  section  10.  For  a  third  of  a  century  and  more  it  has  been  possible  for  all 
these  streams  to  be  crossed  by  footmen,  except  the  Raccoon.  In  many 'places 
the  beds  of  these  streams  are  solid  limestone  rock.  The  current  of  these  creeks 
and  rivers  is  very  rapid,  owing  to  the  great  fall  of  the  land  through  which  they 
pass.  The  lime  and  sand  rock  along  the  rivers  afiford  excellent  building  stone. 
What  is  one  of  the  curiosities  of  this  county  is  the  natural  bridge  on  the  west 
side  of  the  creek  at  the  old  B.  A.  Martin  place,  where  it  spans  a  gully.  It  is 
solid  stone,  averaging  twentj^-four  inches  through,  having  a  span  of  fully 
forty  feet,  with  a  track  of  about  twenty  feet  wide.  One  can  walk  erect 
under  this  bridge,  and  at  one  time  it  was  much  higher  from  floor  to  ceiling, 
the  soil  having  washed  in  from  above  and  filled  it  up  below. 

In  191 2  the  assessed  valuation  of  all  personal  and  real  estate  in  this 
township  was  $358,630,  and  its  population  in  1910  was  placed  in  the  govern- 
ment census  report  at  948. 


At  the  Terre  Haute  land  office  John  Martin  purchased,  in  1820,  one-half 
of  section  33,  and  then  returned  to  his  land  after  a  year  with  his  family. 
Before  that,  however,  parties  of  hunters  and  fishers  had  visited  these  lonely 
forests,  but  not  to  locate.  Mr.  Martin  came  in  with  his  wife  and  family  of 
eleven  children.  They  emigrated  from  North  and  South  Carolina,  in  a  four- 
horse  wagon  and  a  two-horse  vehicle,  the  distance  being  six  hundred  miles, 
and  were  en  route  six  weeks.     The  way  was  often  so  densely  covered  with 


timber  and  brush  that  an  axman  had  to  go  ahead  and  prepare  the  way.  Upon 
arriving  the}^  proceeded  to  erect  a  rude  log  hut  in  which  to  find  shelter  for  the 
time  being.  They  built  on  a  hillside,  at  the  bottom  of  which  was  a  fine  spring 
of  pure  water.  The  Indian  trail  from  Terre  Haute  through  Mansfield  and 
along  the  Big  Raccoon  to  Cornstalk  passed  close  by  the  place.  This  trail 
crossed  and  recrossed  this  creek  in  many  places.  The  elder  Martin  was  a 
blacksmith  and  gunsmith,  besides  being  a  farmer.  The  Indians  passed  up  and 
down  their  trail  and  frequently  camped  on  the  Martin  land  near  the  pretty, 
swift-running  creek.  These  consisted  of  the  Delawares  and  Miamis,  and 
they  furnished  the  gunsmith  Martin  with  plenty  of  repair  work,  for  which 
they  usually  paid  the  cash.  Mrs.  Martin  made  clothes  for  the  children  out 
of  buckskin,  while  they  also  had  plenty  of  good  venison  for  the  table.  Mr. 
Martin  related  how  all  the  Indians  would  drink  and  get  beastly  drunk,  except 
one  who  would  always  remain  sober  to  take  good  care  of  the  rest.  They  fre- 
quently c|uarreled  badly  among  themselves,  but  never  molested  the  whites 
and  always  paid  for  what  they  bought  of  them.  There  are  three  Indian 
graves  on  the  Martin  farm,  but  usually  they  buried  their  dead  at  Cornstalk. 
The  older  Martin  continued  his  business  until  1827,  when  he  died  and  was 
biu'ied  on  his  own  land.  He  had  served  at  the  age  of  sixteen  years  as  a  sub- 
stitute under  Washington  in  the  Revolution:  had  experienced  the  hardships 
of  war,  so  was  well  fitted  for  pioneer  life  here  in  the  solitary  wilds  of  Parke 
county.  The  family  began  to  separate  and  divide  the  farm,  and  move  and 
marry  and  raise  families  of  their  own. 

The  same  year  in  which  Martin  came  in  Thomas  Wolverton,  from  Ohio, 
purchased  land  in  sections  29  and  30.  They  came  after  the  Blakes  and  stayed 
at  Blake's  while  he  cleared  up  a  patch  of  land  and  erected  a  cabin.  \Volverton 
then  went  to  Virginia,  stayed  five  years,  and  returned,  built,  dug  a  well,  and 
made  other  improvements.  He  then  went  to  Ohio.  Wolverton  died  in  1848, 
leaving  a  wife  and  family.  In  1821  John  Miller  entered  land  in  sections  29 
and  30.  He  began  his  farming,  after  having  built  a  comfortable  cabin.  The 
same  year  William  Sutherlin  arrived  from  Virginia  and  bought  land  in  both 
Putnam  and  Parke  counties  for  his  sons.  In  1822  he  moved  his  family,  wife 
and  nine  children,  and  he  settled  near  the  eastern  line  of  this  township.  Isaac 
Norman  helped  to  survey  this  county  in  1820,  and  selected  his  lands,  but  did 
not  settle  for  some  years  afterward.  John  Duncan  entered  land  in  1822  or 
1823,  and  Thomas  Carmichael  came  about  that  date.  In  1822  came  the 
Troutmans,  Stephenses  and  Kays.  A  little  later  came  the  Jameses  and  Na- 
than Plunket,  as  well  as  Lemuel  Norman,  who  lived  on  the  Big  Raccoon.  In 
1823  Thomas  C.  Burton  entered  land  in  New  Discovery,  east  and  northeast 


of  Bellemore.  Other  early  settlers  were  John  Blake  and  his  large  family, 
John  McGilvery,  John  Noble,  Robert  Broaddus  and  Samuel  Harlan.  All  of 
these  arrived  prior  to  1830.  Those  coming  in  between  1830  and  1840  included 
John  Collins,  John  and  William  Bulion,  the  Akers  and  Mershons  and  Cyrus 


At  first  the  settlers  had  to  carry  their  grain  to  mill  on  horseback  to 
Dixon's  mill,  and  a  little  later  to  Portland.  The  Noble  mills  were  built  in 
1829  on  the  Big  Raccoon,  south  of  present  Hollandsburg.  John  McGilvery 
hauled  the  mill-stones  from  Vigo  county.  Soon  after  this  the  Springfield 
mills  were  built.  These  mills  did  the  sawing  and  grinding  for  many  years 
after  the  first  settlers  came  in. 

As  the  township  was  settled  up  more  there  came  a  natural  demand  for 
mechanics,  the  first,  of  course,  being  blacksmiths.  About  1830  William 
Aydelotte  settled  on  the  present  site  of  Bellemore,  or  rather  a  half  mile  to 
the  north.  There  he  started  a  blacksmith  shop,  doing  the  work  for  a  large 
scope  of  country.  This  was  the  first  shop  in  New  Discovery,  but  Martin's 
must  have  been  the  first  shop  in  the  township.  In  those  days  a  round  rod  of 
iron  was  seldom  seen  in  these  parts,  so  Aydelotte  kept  a  forge  and  he  and  his 
boys  forged  their  own  iron.  William  Alexander  probably  had  the  first  inn  or 
tavern,  and  this  was  the  germ,  so  to  speak,  of  Bellemore  village.  A  few 
more  cabins  were  put  in  around  the  Guisinger  shops,  and  John  Bulion,  Sr., 
having  come  from  the  East,  suggested  that  the  cluster  north  of  the  State 
road  be  called  Northampton,  after  the  city  of  this  name  in  Massachusetts, 
and  that  south  of  the  road  be  called  Southampton.  The  shop  at  the  latter 
place  was  soon  abandoned,  so  the  town  was  known  as  Northampton.  John 
Aydelotte  built  a  blacksmith  shop,  and  John  M.  Turner  rented  the  back  room 
for  a  wagon  shop.  In  1856  Turner  built  his  wagon  shop,  the  first  in  the 
township,  and  there  did  a  thriving  business.  About  1839  William  Thornton 
built  the  first  store  room,  what  came  to  be  known  as  Bellemore.  In  1850 
Isaac  Wimmer  bought  from  Alexander  his  property,  and  in  1853  sold  to 
Moore  and  Snow,  and  they  put  up  a  steam  flouring-mill  and  a  saw-mill,  put 
up  a  store  building  and  each  a  dwelling.  The  hamlet  began  to  be  a  center 
for  trade,  and  the  people  demanding  a  postofiice,  they  petitioned  to  have  one 
established  and  suggested  the  name  be  Northampton,  but  while  the  depart- 
ment granted  the  office,  it  found  it  impracticable  to  call  it  Northampton,  as 
Indiana  already  had  such  a  postoffice,  hence  it  was  named  Bellemore,  which 
derived  its  name  as  follows:     Mr.  Moore,  then  a  resident  of  the  place,  had 


some  daughters  whom  General  Steele,  a  guest  of  Moore,  very  much  admired. 
The  General  one  day  said  to  his  host,  "This  town  ought  to  be  called  Bellemore 
(Belle-Moore)  in  honor  of  your  daughters;"  hence  the  origin. 

The  second  town  in  this  township  was  Hollandsburg,  on  section  9.  In 
1855,  or  about  that  year,  John  Collings  built  a  hewed-log  house  on  the  spot, 
and  Abraham  Collings  built  a  store  sixteen  by  twenty  feet,  and  there  sold 
goods,  carrying  about  a  four-hundred-dollar  stock.  Thus  was  started  the 
village.  The  Collings  gave  it  the  name  it  bears,  in  honor  of  a  Baptist  min- 
ister in  Kentucky  whose  name  was  Holland.  About  i860,  John  McGilvery 
built  a  large  house  for  a  residence — the  best  in  the  place.  In  1859  the  Baptist 
church  was  built.  The  first  postmaster  was  L.  D.  McGilvery.  Neither  Hol- 
landsburg or  Bellemore  were  ever  incorporated,  but  remain  small  trading 
places.  Union  township. has  no  railroad  facilities,  and  most  of  the  grain  is 
hauled  to  Rockville  and  other  shipping  places. 

The  roads  of  this  section  are  extremely  hilly,  owing  to  the  lay  of  the 
country,  and  in  an  early  day  it  was  almost  impossible  to  get  in  and  out  of  the 
township.  But  as  time  went  on  roads  were  finally  provided  at  mucii  expense 
and  hard  labor. 

The  cemeteries  of  this  township  are  mostly  of  the  "family  burying- 
ground"  character,  each  early  family  choosing  to  bury  their  departed  dead  as 
near  the  spot  where  they  lived  and  labored  as  possible.  Among  the  well- 
known  burial  places  are  the  Blake  graveyard,  the  Martin  graveyard,  the 
Nobles  and  Kelley,  the  Colemans,  Harneys,  and  Coopers. 

The  schools  and-churches  of  this  township  have  been  noticed  in  the  gen- 
eral chapters  in  this  work. 



This  sub-division  of  Parke  county  is  on  the  western  border,  and  is  south 
of  Reserve,  west  of  Adams,  north  of  Florida  township,  and  is  bounded  on 
the  west  by  the  Wabash  river,  which  is  the  dividing  Hne  between  this  county 
and  Vermillion  county.  Along  the  river,  and  in  places  running  back  a  con- 
siderable distance,  are  the  Wabash  bottoms,  which  are  considered  the  richest 
land  in  the  state,  although  up  the  river  at  the  northwest  corner  of  the  town- 
ship the  land  is  higher,  but  not  broken,  and  is  therefore  the  most  valuable  of 
any  in  this  part  of  Parke  county.  The  middle  and  northeast  part  of  the  town- 
ship is  quite  hilly,  the  bluffs  in  places  rising  abruptly  to  a  considerable  height. 
These  hills  are  to  quite  an  extent  underlaid  with  coal;  a  fair  quality  of  build- 
ing stone  is  also  found  in  places,  and  iron  exists  upon  Iron  creek  in  the  north- 
east part  of  the  township.  Raccoon  creek,  the  chief  stream  in  the  township, 
enters  from  the  south  and  runs  northward  some  little  more  than  half  way 
through  the  township,  then  turns  west,  running  almost  directly  to  the  river. 
On  this  stream  Abner  Cox  built  the  first  mill  Of  any  note  in  this  part  of  the 
county.  To  it  came  the  pioneers,  some  in  row  boats,  some  with  carts  and 
oxen  and  some  from  other  parts  came  with  grists  on  horseback,  winding  their 
way  over  hills  and  through  the  heavy  timber,  then  scarcely  broken  by  the 
sturdy  settler's  axe.  This  mill  was  built  near  Armiesburg.  After  the  mill 
came  other  milling  improvements,  to  grind  out  whisky  from  rye  and  corn, 
making  a  home  market  for  farmer's  produce.  One  writer  in  1879  said:  "It 
was  discovered  that  a  'worm'  in  this  still  house  was  more  venomous  than  any 
reptile  ever  found  in  Parke  county."  In  1830,  Patterson,  Silliman  &  Com- 
pany started  a  store  here,  where  pork  could  be  sold  at  a  dollar  and  fifty  cents 
per  hundred,  salt  could  be  purchased  at  seven  dollars  per  barrel,  and  calico 
from  thirty-five  to  forty  cents  per  yard. 

Some  of  the  first  settlers  hauled  wheat  to  Chicago,  Louisville,  and  Cin- 
cinnati Ohio,  and  sold  it  for  fifty  cents  per  bushel  and  hauled  back  mer- 


Among  the  early  settlers  may  be  recalled  Isaac  Ghormly  and  family. 
Daniel  James  and  Aquilla  Justis,  Lucius  Kebby  and  family,  Aquilla  Punten- 


ney,  ]Mark  and  Thomas  Cooke,  William  Hixon,  Azariah  Brown,  James  and 
Aquilla  Laverty.  Alany  of  these  pioneers  have  descendants  in  the  township 

At  the  time  the  early  settlers  came,  the  Indians  were  quite  numerous.  In 
this  township  was  one  section  of  land  given  by  the  state  to  Christmas  Dazney, 
spoken  of  elsewhere  in  this  volume.  The  Indians  w-ere  peaceable,  but  idle  and 

In  1832  the  ;\Iecca  saw-mill  was  built  by  Alexander  McCune  and  Samuel 
Lowry.  In  1833  ^  factory  for  wool  carding  and  a  year  later  a  fulling  mill 
w-ere  added  to  the  place  and  in  1855  these  gentlemen  built  a  large  custom  mill. 
In  1873  a  good  bridge  was  built  over  the  creek  at  this  place,  protected  from 
the  weather  by  a  shingle  roof.  This  place  is  about  two  miles  up  the  creek 
from  Armiesburg.  The  latter  place  derived  its  name  from  the  fact  that  it  is 
on  the  place  where  General  Harrison  crossed  the  Raccoon  creek,  and  camped 
W'ith  his  army,  while  en  route  to  the  famous  battle  ground  of  Tippecanoe  in 
this  state. 

In  1912  the  assessed  valuation  of  personal  and  real  estate  property  in 
this  township  was  $787,555.  Its  population  in  1910  was  1,955.  The  churches 
and  schools  are  mentioned  under  general  chapter  heads.  ^lany  of  the  early 
settlers  buried  their  dead  in  the  most  convenient  places,  generally  near  their 
own  homes,  and  for  long  years  the  plow  and  harvester  have  gone  ruthlessly 
over  the  spot  where  lie  their  remains.  Since  1840,  however,  more  care  has 
been  taken  to  protect  the  burial  places  within  the  township.  About  1836 
Leatherwood  bulging  ground  was  staked  off  and  in  1849  was  deeded  by 
Isaac  Silliman  to  the  trustees  of  the  society  of  the  United  Brethren.  About 
forty  years  ago,  William  Hixon  deeded  to  the  trustees  a  piece  of  land  in  sec- 
tion 19,  township  15,  for  a  place  to  bury  the  dead.  Other  places  were  later 

The  first  school  house  in  the  township  was  erected  in  1834,  by  A.  Mc- 
Cune,  three- fourths  of  a  mile  from  Mecca,  to  the  southeast. 

Flat-boat  building  was  one  of  the  early-day  industries  in  this  township. 
Many  of  the  pioneers  made  trips  to  New  Orleans  by  these  boats,  ]\Ir.  AlcCune 
having  made  thirty-five  trips  to  the  gulf  in  this  manner. 

A  local  w-riter  mentions  the  "never-built"  railroads  in  A\'abash  town- 
ship in  the  following  strain  : 

"If  any  township  in  Parke  county,  more  than  another,  can  boast  of  her 
unfinished  railroads  it  is  Wabash.  In  1873  Mr.  Young,  of  Chicago,  started 
the  Indiana  division  of  the  Chicago,  Danville  &  \'incennes  railroad.  It  was 
graded  about  half  way  through  the  township,  from  the  south  side,  running 


through  the  Raccoon  bottoms.  The  truss  bridges  were  also  erected.  In 
1854  the  lUinois  Central  and  Indiana  Central  surveyed  a  line  through  the 
north  part  of  Wabash  township,  but  never  built  the  road.  In  1874  a  compan)- 
formed  to  build  the  Spring'field  road.  This  line  passed  over  the  old  survey. 
On  October  15,  1875,  the  contract  was  let  to  build  and  own  the  road  from 
Montezuma  to  Indianapolis,  via  Rockville.  The  grading  was  begun  in  the 
fall  of  1875,  and  in  the  winter  of  1876  they  failed  and  the  road  was  aban- 
doned. Thus  the  fond  hopes  of  the  Wabash  people  as  well  as  those  of  Rock- 
ville, perished  and,  like  the  morning  dew,  flitted  away  and  the  prospective, 
like  the  canal,  are  'hopes  deferred.'  " 

But  later  the  township  was  blessed  with  a  line  of  railroad  known  as  the 
Chicago  &  Eastern  Illinois,  which  enters  the  county  in  Liberty  twonship  and 
traverses  the  townships  of  Liberty,  Reserve,  Wabash,  Florida,  forming  junc- 
tion with  the  Vandalia  at  Rosedale,  with  a  station  point  in  Wabash  township, 
at  Mecca,  on  sections  19  and  30.  This  was  constructed  in  the  eighties  and  is 
a  paying  railroad  proposition  and  has  been  the  means  of  bringing  into  exist- 
ence the  sprightly  town  of  Mecca,  which  was  platted  on  section  20,  to\\nship 
15,  range  8,  August  7,  1890,  by  Samuel  L.  McCune.  Other  plattings  were 
made  later.  The  place  now  has  a  population  of  about  one  thousand  four 
hundred  and  is  supplied  with  all  that  goes  toward  making  up  a  modern  built 
town  of  its  size.  Its  churches  and  schools  and  other  interests  are  noted 
throughout  other  chapters,  in  a  general  way  with  other  towns.  Being  one  of 
the  new  towns  of  the  count}',  its  early  histor}-  is  not  so  important,  but  the 
early  settlement  of  Wabash  township  gives  the  pioneer  liistnry  of  that  portion 
of  the  county. 

It  may  be  added  that  the  old  Wabash  &  Erie  canal  runs  from  north  to 
south,  through  Wabash  township,  and  in  its  day  was  looked  upon  as  a  great 
thoroughfare.  Traces  of  the  canal  are  to  be  seen  at  many  places  along  the 
western  part  of  Parke  county,  including  the  town  of  Montezuma  and  Reserx-e 
and  Wabash  townships. 

At  Mecca  there  is  now  in  operation  an  extensive  plant  for  the  making  of 
drain  tile,  by  William  Dee,  who  is  the  great  Chicago  tile  manufacturer  through 
this  section  of  Indiana,  with  several  plants  for  brick  and  tile. 



Washington  township  is  a  central  sub-cli\-ision  of  Parke  county.  It  has 
a  population,  as  noted  by  the  last  federal  census,  of  1,481.  Its  assessed  valua- 
tion, both  real  and  personal  property,  in  19 12,  is  $907,760.  This  township 
comprises  part  of  township  15  and  township  16,  ranges  6  and  7,  and  contains 
thirty-six  sections  of  rich,  beautiful  land,  with  extensive  coal-bearing  lands 
and  mines,  the  latter  for  year  having  been  its  greatest  source  of  revenue.  The 
old-time  log  cabins  that  once  dotted  this  section  have  been  displaced  and  mod- 
ern farm  houses  of  rare  excellence  and  attractiveness  now  adorn  the  entire 
township.  Several  never-failing  streams  of  the  finest,  purest  water  course 
through  this  township.  Among  these  may  be  named  Roaring  creek.  Leather- 
wood,  Sand  and  Williams  creeks,  whose  waters  find  their  way  into  the  little 

In  1872  the  Terre  Haute  &  Logansport  railroad  was  constructed  across 
the  comer  of  this  township,  and  a  station  point  established  on  section  24, 
which  was  later  named  Judson.  On  section  33  is  Nyesville,  built  up  on  the 
coal  mining  interests  of  that  neighborhood,  it  ha\-ing  a  branch  line  extending 
to  the  mines. 


The  first  white  man  to  invade  and  claim  land  within  Washington  town- 
ship, as  now  defined,  was  Alexander  Buchanan,  who  arrived  in  1821,  locating 
on  section  24,  near  Little  Raccoon  creek.  When  he  came  this  was  all  a  forest 
land  and  indeed  wild  in  all  that  could  be  mentioned.  His  only  neighbors  were 
the  Indians,  they  being  of  the  Delawares,  Miamis  and  Pottawatomie  tribes, 
whose  villages  and  burying  grounds  were  then  numerous  in  this  township. 
The  next  settler  was  David  Bruen,  who  located  at  the  point  later  known  as 
Bruen's  cross-roads,  where  the  first  postoffice  was  established,  with  Mr.  Bruen 
as  postmaster.  In  the  autumn  of  1822  there  were  twelve  families  in  this  set- 
tlement. These  were  the  Buchanans,  Bruens,  David  Todd,  Ambrose  Lambert, 
Charles  Abbott,  his  mother  and  brother,  two  families  named  Harlan,  a  Dutch 
family  named  Shmok,  and  the  families  of  McMillan  and  Garrison,  the  two 


later  having  settled  over  the  line  in  Adams  township.  The  following  year 
came  Fleming  and  James  Long,  and  soon  came  the  McMurtie  family.  Then 
the  numljer  which  came  in  was  too  large  to  here  trace  or  enumerate. 

In  the  Roaring  Creek  or  Poplar  Grove  settlement,  in  the  north  end  of 
the  township,  the  first  to  arrive  was  John  Maris,  in  the  fall  of  1826.  He 
settled  on  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  5,  on  the  old  Indian  trail.  He  cleared 
ten  acres  of  land  and  the  next  year  raised  a  crop  of  corn  for  bread  purposes 
and  feed.  He  obtained  his  seed  corn  from  the  Cook  family,  in  the  settlement 
to  the  west  of  him,  paying  ten  cents  a  bushel  for  the  seed.  Next  came  in 
Joshua  Newlin,  his  son  John  and  daughter  Sarah  and  her  husband,  James 
Underwood,  they  being  newly  married,  but  had  never  tried  the  perplexities 
of  married  life  in  a  new  country.  They  reached  this  township  in  the  fall  of 
1827  and  located  on  the  northeast  of  section  4,  at  once  building  a  shed,  in 
which  they  lived  for  three  weeks,  at  the  end  of  which  time  they  had  their 
cabin  erected,  save  the  stick-and-clay  chimney,  which  soon  followed.  The 
following  winter  was  occupied  at  chopping  and  logging,  clearing  away  for  a 
patch  on  which  to  sow  and  plant.  In  the  meantime  they  had  to  live  chiefly  on 
corn  bread  and  mush  and  milk.  Corn  was  still  ten  cents,  but  money  was 
hard  to  get  hold  of.  They  brought  seeds  with  them  and  planted  some  peach 
seed,  and  in  three  years  had  plenty  of  fine  fruit  from  this  early  planting.  An 
a])ple  orchard  was  also  planted  from  which  they  had  an  abundance  of  good 
apples  within  seven  years.  His  son  John  settled  on  section  4,  and  at  once 
cleared  away  five  acres,  settling  on  the  same  in  the  spring  of  1828.  The  son- 
in-law,  Underwood,  settled  on  section  3  and  went  to  housekeeping.  The 
next  to  come  was  Nathan  Hockett,  in  the  spring  of  1828,  who  went  to  work 
on  land  he  purchased  in  section  4.  He  owned  the  first  cow  in  the  settlement, 
having  brought  her  from  North  Carolina  when  he  came.  The  next  fall  came 
William  and  Jesse  Hobson,  locating  on  section  9.  In  1829,  in  the  autumn 
time,  came  the  Teaghe  family,  their  location  being  on  section  8.  Others  who 
soon  swelled  the  number  in  the  little  colony  were  Aaron  Rawlings.  Aaron  D. 
Hufif,  Gabriel  Wilson,  Eli  Bundy,  Jonathan  Trublood  and  family,  W.  Hill, 
Elias  Trublood,  Jesse  Yemp,  David  Newlin,  Joshua  and  John  Engle,  and  the 
McCampbell  family. 

The  first  school  was  erected  on  what  was  known  as  the  "lost 
quarter,"  a  strip  of  territory  on  section  26.  It  was  there  that  a  school  was 
taught  by  John  McBride,  an  Irishman.  In  1833  the  first  school  in  Roaring 
Creek  settlement  was  taught.  The  Presbyterians  built  tlie  first  meeting  house 
in  this  townsiiip  in    1823.   Early  ser\-ices  were  held  l)y  the  Methodist  Epis- 


copal  people,  under  Rev.  Cra^•ens,  who  styled  himself,  "The  Almighty's  Biill- 
ilog."     See  church  chapter  elsewhere;  also  educational  chapter  for  schools. 

Among  the  first  deaths  in  the  settlement  above  mentioned  was  the  drown- 
ing of  Samuel  Teaghe,  July  4,  1834. 

Roseville  mills  pro\-ided  the  first  milling  facilities  this  township  had.  In 
J  825  Samuel  Steele  built  his  Portland  mill,  in  Greene  township,  and  soon 
there  were  a  number  of  mills  erected  in  near-by  districts. 

.\t  Nyesville,  noted  above,  in  1880  there  were  extensive  coal  mining 
operations  opened  up,  on  sections  33  and  34.  These  mines  were  opened  and 
worked  by  the  Parke  County  Coal  Mining  Company,  and  this  has  been  the 
means  of  supporting  a  good  little  mining  village  ever  since.  The  United 
States  census  of  1910  gave  the  population  as  ninety-five,  which  fluctuates  with 
the  number  of  miners  employed  at  various  times. 

The  village  of  Judson,  a  place  having  less  than  two  hundred  inhabitants, 
in  1910.  is  situated  on  section  24,  of  this  township,  and  was  platted  by  Alex- 
ander Buchanan,  May  4,  1872.  The  railroad  was  completed  that  year,  and 
the  first  store  was  opened  by  Glover  &  Milligan,  who  were  followed  very 
speedily  by  many  more  business  concerns.  Presbyterian  and  Methodist 
churches  were  soon  organized  and  houses  provided  in  which  to  worship.  A 
Masonic  lodge  was  formed  in  1874,  and  an  Odd  Fellows  lodge  in  the  same 





The  word  "vermillion"  is  from  the  French,  signifying  "a  Ijright  red  sul- 
phuret  of  mercury,"  and  is  appHed  to  this  territory  and  the  stream  by  that 
name,  on  account  of  the  red  or  brown  color  of  the  earth  and  the  abundance 
of  "keel,"  or  '"red-chalk,"  found  along  the  banks  of  the  river  now  called 
Vermillion.  It  is  believed  that  this  substance  was  formed  by  the  burning  of 
the  overlying  shale,  the  outcrops  of  the  coal,  the  latter  igniting  from  the 
autumn  fires  set  by  the  people  then  inhabiting  this  region.  The  river  was  first 
named,  then  the  county. 

Geographically,  Vermillion  county  is  thirty-nine  degrees  and  fifty-five 
minutes  north,  and  eighty-seven  degrees  and  ten  minutes  west  longitude  from 
Greenwich,  England.  The  standard  railroad  time,  which  is  conformed  to  the 
ninetieth  meridian,  is  about  eleven  minutes  slower  than  local  sun-time.  New- 
port, the  county  seat,  is  five  hundred  and  twenty  feet  above  sea-level,  and  fifty- 
five  feet  above  the  low  water  mark  of  the  Wabash  river  opposite. 

The  beautiful  Wabash  river,  with  its  charming  scenery,  is  equal  in  that 
respect  to  almost  any  other  stream  in  the  West.  Its  silvery  ripples  are  seen 
here  and  there  midst  luxurious  foliage  of  splendid  forest  kings,  while  long 
ranges  of  hills  add  further  beauty  and  sublimity  to  the  scene  which  is  ever  a 
feast  to  the  eye  of  the  beholder.  The  more  than  thirty-seven  miles  of  river 
front  presented  within  this  county,  is  wholly  made  up  of  attractive  natural 
scenery,  making  the  territory  one  of  the  "loveliest  valleys  in  the  West."  The 
Wabash  and  its  tributaries  completely  drain  and  water  the  county  of  which 
this  volume  is  a  history.  Spring  branch,  really  a  large  creek,  flows  south- 
westerly through  the  northeast  corner  of  Highland  township.  Coal  branch 
flows  south  near  the  Avestern  border.  Big  Vermillion  river  winds  in  graceful 
curves  through  the  southwestern  corner  of  Highland  township  and  also 
through  the  northern  part  of  Eugene  township.     Little  Vermillion  ri\er  winds 


through  the  southwestern  corner  of  Eugene  township,  emptying  into  the 
Wabash  near  the  middle  of  the  eastern  side  of  VermilHon  township.  Jonathan 
creek,  in  the  western  portion  of  VermilHon  township,  flows  northeasterly  into 
Little  Vermillion.  Brouillet's  (pronounced  Brulet's  creek)  is  wholly  within 
Clinton  township,  coursing  its  way  southeasterly,  forming  confluence  with 
the  Wabash  river.  Little  Raccoon  creek,  in  Helt  township,  runs  to  the  south- 
east, in  the  northeastern  portion  of  the  township,  falling  into  the  Wabash  be- 
tween Highland  and  Alta. 


Almost  one-third  of  the  territory  embraced  within  Vermillion  county  con- 
sists of  rich,  fertile  and  valuable  bottom  lands  of  the  great  and  historic  Wabash 
river  together  with  its  affluents.  Big  and  Little  Vermillion  rivers  and  Norton's 
creek.  The  main  terrace  of  the  "second  bottom."  is  finely  developed  in  the 
region  of  Perrysville  and  Newport.  This  terrace  is  from  one  to  four  miles 
wide,  giving  an  extended  stretch  of  rich,  well  drained  farming  lands,  with  an 
average  elevation  of  about  forty  feet  above  the  first  bottom.  Below  the  town 
of  Newport  the  bluffs  reach  the  river  so  nearly  that  the  terrace  is  nearly 
obliterated,  and  the  immediate  bottoms  are  hence  very  narrow.  At  the  mouth 
of  Little  Raccoon  creek  the  bottom  lands  are  extended  wider,  but  there  is  no 
large  amount  of  terrace  land  until  the  head  of  Helt  prairie  is  reached,  at  a  point 
six  miles  to  the  north  of  the  city  of  Clinton,  where  it  stretches  to  the  s6uth- 
ward  and  is  from  one  to  three  miles  in  width.  Again  three  miles  below 
Clinton  it  narrows  down  at  the  mouth  of  Brouillet's  and  the  county  line. 

When  Vermillion  county  was  first  settled  by  white  men  the  bottoms  were 
heavily  timbered,  but  a  large  part  of  the  terrace  was  devoid  of  timber.  It  is 
hardly  probal^le  that  this  land  was  originally  prairie,  on  account  of  its  nature 
and  favorable  situation,  hence  it  is  supposed  that  this  land  was  cleared  and 
cultivated  by  the  same  race  of  people,  possibly  the  much-talked-of,  and  but 
little  understood,  Mound  Builders.  The  "mounds"  are  to  be  seen  all  through 
this  region,  and  it  is  thought  that  the  annual  fires  prevented  a  re-occupation 
by  trees  and  shrubs. 

Rising  from  the  upper  bottom  lands  bluft's  are  seen,  more  or  less  abrupt, 
which  attain  a  general  level  of  from  one  hundred  and  twenty  to  one  hundred 
and  thirty  feet  above  the  river  bed,  forming  the  somewhat  elevated  border 
lands  of  Grand  prairie.  The  most  gradual  ascent  is  to  the  westward  from 
Perrysville,  which  provide  a  natural  roadway  for  the  railroad  now  traversing- 
this  portion  of  the  county.     South  of  the  Big  Vermillion  river  the  bluffs  are 


much  Steeper.  These  bluffs  are  too  steep  for  practical  cultivation,  and  timber 
is  still  found  growing,  including  oak.  hickory,  maple  and  walnut,  and.  in  the 
south  part  of  the  county,  beech.  Thirty  years  ago  and  less  there  were  found 
large  groves  of  maple  of  the  sugar  variety.  From  the  chief  streams  this  tim- 
bered region  extends  to  the  westward  to  the  state  line.  The  northern  and 
middle  portions  of  the  county  are  in  great  part  a  portion  of  what  is  known  as 
the  Grand  prairie,  which  covers  all  eastern  Illinois,  from  the  forests  of  the  Lit- 
tle Wabash  to  Lake  Michigan. 

Vermillion  county  is  blessed  with  springs,  bursting  forth  from  below  the 
bowlder  clay  of  the  drift  period.  Many  of  these  springs  are  exceedingly 
strong  in  their  flow,  but  with  the  settlement  of  the  county,  artificial  drainage, 
etc.,  have  somewhat  diminished. 

The  alluvium  of  the  river  bottoms  ba\e  the  common  features  of  all  river 
deposits.  Vegetable  remains  are  mingled  with  fine  sand  and  mud  washed 
from  the  drift-beds  up  the  streams,  and  occasional  deposits  of  small  stones 
and  gravel,  derived  either  from  the  drift  or  from  rock  formations  through 
which  these  rivers  have  cut  their  way.  The  only  positive  information  con- 
cerning the  depths  of  these  beds  refers  to  the  prairies  between  Eugene  and 
Perrysville,  where  wells  have  been  sunk  sixty  feet  through  alluvia  sand,  and 
then  encountered  six  to  ten  feet  of  sticky,  bluish  mud  filled  with  leaves,  twigs 
and  trunks  of  trees,  and  occasionally  small  masses  of  what  appears  to  have 
been  stable  manure.  This  stratum  is  sometimes  called  "Noah's  Barnyard." 
The  lake-bottom  deposits,  of  a  corresponding  age,  which  commonly  underlie 
the  soil  of  the  Grand  prairie,  have  been  found  west  of  the  state  line,  consisting 
of  marly-clays  and  brick-clay  subsoil,  and  probably  exist  equally  under  such 
portions  of  the  prairie  as  extend  into  Vermillion  county. 

There  are  numerous  fine  gravel  beds  in  the  county,  principally  developed 
since  the  construction  of  railroads.  The  bowlder  clay  mentioned  above, 
which  substance  forms  the  mass  of  drift  formation,  is  a  tough,  bluish  drab, 
unlaminated  clay,  more  or  less  thoroughly  filled  with  fine  and  coarse  gravel, 
and  includes  many  small  bowlders.  On  the  high  bluff,  to  the  west  of  Perrys- 
ville. this  bed  was  penetrated  to  a  depth  of  about  one  hundred  feet  before 
reaching  the  water-bearing  quicksand  commonly  found  beneath  it.  Outcrojis 
of  one  hundred  and  ten  feet  have  been  measured.  This  is  much  thinner  in 
the  southern  part  of  Vermillion  county.  In-om  the  difference  in  character  of 
the  included  bowlders  at  different  le\'els,  it  is  supposed  by  geologists  that  the 
currents  which  brought  the  materials  composing  these  beds  flowed  in  different 
directions  at  different  times. 

As  an  example  of  the  above  descriptions,  said  a  writer  on  this  subject 


twenty-five  years  ago:  "A  section  from  a  branch  of  Jonathan's  creek,  in 
Eugene  township,  where  bowlder  clay,  with  pebbles  of  Silurian  limestone  and 
trap,  thirty  feet;  yellow  clay,  with  fragments  of  coal,  shale,  sand-stone,  etc., 
four  inches;  bowlder  clay,  with  pebbles  of  Silurian  limestone,  twenty-five 
feet;  ferruginous  sand,  a  streak;  bowlder  clay  from  the  northwest,  with  peb- 
bles of  various  metamorphic  rocks  and  trap,  and  nuggets  of  native  copper,  fifty 

The  section  of  rocks  exposed  at  the  horseshoe  of  the  Little  Vermillion 
exhibits  the  following  strata  :  Black,  slaty  shale ;  coal,  two  and  a  half  to  four 
feet  thick;  fire-clay  and  soft  shales,  with  iron-stones,  fifteen  feet;  argillaceous 
(clayey)  limestone,  one  to  two  feet;  dark  drab  clay  shale,  one  foot;  coal,  four 
to  five  feet ;  light  colored  fire-clay,  two  feet ;  dark  colored  fire-clay,  one  foot ; 
soft,  drab  shale,  with  iron-stones,  ten  to  fifteen  feet ;  fossiliferous,  black  slaty 
shale,  often  pyritous,  with  many  large  iron-stone  nodules,  two  to  three  feet. 

A  considerable  portion  of  the  bowlders  and  pebbles  of  these  beds,  espe- 
cially those  consisting  of  limestone  and  the  metamorphic  rocks,  are  finely 
polished  and  striated  on  one  or  more  of  their  sides,  showing  the  power  of  the 
forces  which  were  engaged  in  their  transportation  from  their  original  beds. 
Nuggets  of  galena  (lead)  and  of  native  copper  are  occasionally  met  with,  and 
have  had  the  usual  effect  of  exciting  the  imagination  of  those  ignorant  of  the 
fact  that  the  rocks  which  contain  these  metals  do  not  occur  nearer  than  tlie 
galena  region  of  northern  Illinois. 

The  only  rock  formation  in  the  county,  practically  speaking,  is  that  of  the 
"coal  measure"  already  mentioned.  The  first  uppermost  vein  of  coal  is  cov- 
ered by  a  few  feet  of  soil  only.  The  limerock  below  it  is  very  thinly  lamin- 
ated, being  mingled  with  much  clay;  but  the  shales  covering  the  next  vein  con- 
stitute a  fair  working  roof. 

The  sand  iron-stones  are  interesting  to  the  hunter  of  fossils,  as  they  con- 
tain numerous  fragmentary  remains  of  fishes,  insects,  etc.  This  fossil  dis- 
trict extends  along  the  Little  A'ermillion  to  its  mouth  and  down  the  Wabash. 
Outcrops  of  this  strata  are  found  along  the  chief  streams  throughout  the  entire 
county  of  Vermillion. 

In  going  up  stream  along  the  Big  Vermillion  river,  on  its  south  bank,  a 
mile  below  Eugene,  a  bluff  twenty  to  thirty  feet  high  is  of  irregularly  bedded, 
highly  ferruginous,  coarse  grained  sand-stone,  often  containing  plant  remains, 
with  some  large  fragments  of  trees,  etc.  Some  of  tliese  beds  are  sufficiently 
solid  to  make  good  building  stones.  In  quarrying  them  many  fine  trunks  have 
been  found  and  the  larger  branches  of  leipodendron  and  sigillaria. 

'  Wells  sunk  below  Perrysville,  below  the  limestone  rock,  ninety  feet,  have 


exposed  no  traces  of  coal,  but  coal  is  found  at  no  great  distance,  owing  to  the 
sudden  dips  in  the  geological  strata.  In  general  terms,  it  may  be  said  that 
most  all  of  Vermillion  count)-  is  underlaid  with  a  good  quality  of  soft  coal. 
A  total  estimate  of  eight  feet  would  probably  cover  the  thickness  of  coal 
underneath  this  county — a  wonderful  mine  of  wealth  for  generations  yet  un- 
born !  The  chapter  on  IVIines  and  Mining  in  this  work  will  treat  the  vast  coal 
mining  interests. 

The  principal  iron  ore  found  within  Vermillion  count}'  is  an  impure  car- 
bonate, occurring  in  nodules  and  irregular  layers  of  sands.  Once,  these  were 
shipped  to  a  furnace  at  Brouillet's  Creek,  where  they  yielded  thirty-three  per 
cent,  of  iron  ore.  The  ore  here  averages  from  twenty  to  thirty  per  cent. 
Along  the  Norton  creek  bottoms,  near  the  head  of  Kelt's  prairies,  a  bed  of 
bog-iron,  about  three  feet  thick  and  extending  over  an  area  of  about  eight 
acres,  has  been  discovered  in  the  last  thirty  years.  Zinc  blende  is  also  found 
in  small  quantities.  Its  appearance,  at  an  early  day,  on  the  Little  Vermillion 
river,  gave  rise  to  the  so-called  "silver  mine." 

The  second  bottoms,  or  terraces  in  Vermillion  county,  in  order  from  the 
north  are  named  Walnut  Mound,  Eugene  or  Sand,  Newport  and  Helt's.  The 
soil  is  a  black  sandy  loam,  producing  the  richest  and  most  paying  crops.  These 
terraces  comprise  about  three-tenths  of  the  entire  county,  and  are  from  thirty- 
five  to  sixty-five  feet  above  low-water  mark,  while  the  higher  portions  of  the 
county  are  from  two  hundred  and  fifty  to  t\\  o  hundred  and  seventy  feet  abo\-e 

Professor  Collett,  in  his  t88o  report,  says:  "Remains  of  the  mammoth 
have  been  discovered  in  nearly  all  sections  of  Indiana.  They  have  consisted, 
as  a  rule,  of  the  most  compact  bones  of  these  animals,  as  the  teeth,  tusks,  jaws 
and  thigh  bones.  Some  of  the  best  preser\'ed  teeth  of  the  mammoth  were 
found  in  the  counties  of  Vigo,  Parke,  ^''ermillion,  Wayne,  Putnam  and  A'an- 


Eighty-five  per  cent,  of  the  area  of  Indiana  was  originally  heavily  for- 
ested. The  prairie  district  occupied  a  small  portion  of  the  northwestern  part 
of  the  state.  In  this  part  the  timber  was  confined  principally  to  the  low  lands. 
In  all  parts  of  the  state  the  timber  has  been  cut  for  lumber  and  to  clear  the 
farm  land,  until  now  only  twenty  per  cent,  of  the  original  forest,  seventeen 
per  cent,  of  the  total  area  of  the  state,  remains.  The  cutting  off  of  the  forests 
of  the  state  has  had  a  great  influence  on  the  drainage.  When  the  forests  were 
still  intact,  the  fallen  leaves,  mold  and  shade  tended  to  retain  the  surplus  water 


during  the  rajny  seasons,  and  this  water,  given  out  gradual!}',  tended  to 
equalize  the  stream  flow.  Floods  were  less  common  then.  Now  the  sys- 
tematic drainage  of  the  land  causes  the  water,  during  the  rainy  seasons,  to  flow 
directly  into  the  stream.  Thus  the  streams  are  flooded  during  the  wet  weather 
and  soon  dry  up  after  the  rains  cease.  This  condition  is  especially  true  of 
the  portion  of  the  state  south  of  the  Wisconsin  glacial  boundary.  In  the  Wis- 
consin glacial  area  the  sand  and  gravel  deposits  serve  to  some  extent  the  same 
purpose  as  the  leaves,  mold  and  shade  of  the  previously  forested  area  of  the 
unglaciated  region.  The  effect  of  the  removal  of  the  forests  is  shown  by  the 
remains  of  old  water-mill  sites,  on  small  streams  which  are  now  dry  for  more 
than  half  the  year.  Many  of  these  small  power  mills  were  run  continuously 
fifty  years  ago.  These  power  sites  are  now  impractical  except  where  im- 
mense storage  basins  can  be  constructed.  Charles  R.  Van  Hise  in  the  United 
States  government  reports  on  Conservation,  says :  "It  is  estimated  by  McGee 
that,  by  injudicious  farming  and  deforestation,  the  water  table  has  been  low- 
ered in  the  eastern  part  of  the  United  States  by  from  ten  to  forty  feet.  In- 
deed he  estimates  that  the  shallow  wells  and  springs  in  this  part  of  the  country, 
at  least  three-fourths,  have  failed.  The  springs  have  dried  up;  the  small 
brooks'have  ceased  to  flow ;  the  wells  have  been  sunk  to  lower  levels. 

"In  this  matter  we  have  an  exceptional  situation  with  reference  to  water 
which  is  somewhat  analogous  to  that  of  minerals.  We  are  using  the  supplies 
of  the  past  and  not  restoring  an  equal  amount.  This  we  are  doing  to  some 
extent  because  of  our  present  need;  but  also  more  wells  are  drilled  in  many 
artesian  districts  than  are  necessary ;  and  when  they  are  not  in  use,  which  is 
often  the  larger  part  of  the  year,  the  water  from  them  is  allowed  to  run  off 
freely.  Usually  it  is  not  realized  that  such  waste  lessens  the  head  and  makes 
available  a  smaller  amount  of  water  when  it  is  again  needed.  This  waste  of 
underground  water  is  analogous  to  the  waste  of  natural  gas.  Strange  as  it 
may  appear,  waste  of  this  kind  is  allowed  to  continue  not  only  in  humid 
regions  where  water  is  not  appreciated,  but  in  arid  regions  where  it  is  of  such 
fundamental  importance.  Such  waste  should  be  prohibited  by  law  and  the  law 
should  provide  means  of  enforcement. 

"Already  strict  laws  exist  in  a  number  of  states  of  the  West;  this  is  il- 
lustrated by  California.  It  is  clear  that  laws  preventing  the  waste  of  water 
are  constitutional  upon  substantially  the  same  grounds  as  are  the  laws  with 
reference  to  the  waste  of  natural  gas.  This  is  clearly  indicated  by  decisions 
which  have  been  rendered  in  the  various  courts. 

"It  is  important  to  get  into  the  ground  a  suflicient  amount  of  water,  so 
that  the  water  table  will  be  maintained  at  a  convenient  depth.     This  is  es- 


pecially  important  in  the  arid  and  semi-arid  regions,  for  there  often  the  under- 
ground water  is  the  only  certain  source  of  this  element  for  domestic  purposes 
and  for  irrigation. 

"On  a  much  wider  scale  increasing  the  proportion  of  precipitation  which 
goes  under  ground,  may  be  accomplished  by  covering  the  earth  with  vegeta- 
tion, by  contour  plowing,  and  by  cultivating  in  such  a  manner  as  to  leave  a 
rough  surface." 

The  whcile  of  this  question  simply  shows  the  opinion  of  an  expert  upon 
the  subject  of  the  conservation  of  water.  The  last  paragraph  is  applicable  to 
Indiana  and  to  Vermillion  and  Parke  counties.  It  is  indeed  astonishing  to 
notice  the  poor  grade  of  farming  carried  on  in  man}^  parts  of  this  state.  Fields 
are  left  absolutely  bare  for  a  whole  summer  and  for  many  years.  Such  fields 
not  only  drain  off  most  of  the  water  which  falls  upon  them,  but  the  hard 
crust  causes  the  evaporation  of  the  underground  water  to  be  much  greater. 
Upon  such  fields  even  a  rank  growth  of  weeds  is  a  blessing,  except  for  the 
seeds  which  they  produce.  One  of  the  secrets  of  successful  farming  in  this 
state  is  the  power  of  the  farmer  to  properly  handle  the  ground  water  under  his 
land.  When  every  farmer  understands  the  secret  of  conserving  ground  water 
and  puts  the  knowledge  to  practical  use,  the  dry  well  and  intermittent  spring 
problems  will  be  greatly  lessened  and  the  facilities  for  water-power  will  be 
somewhat  increased. 

Then,  from  all  that  has  been  observed,  it  will  pay  to  save  the  remaining 
forests  and  conserve  the  water,  both  upon  and  underneath  the  fertile  soil  of 

"That  old  familiar  tree, 

Whose  glory  and  renown 
Are  spread  o'er  land  and  sea — 

And  woulds't  thou  hew  it  down.' 
Woodman  forbear  thy  stroke! 

Cut  not  its  earth-bound  ties  ; 
Oh,  spare  that  aged  oak 

Now  towering  to  the  skies !" 


The  entire  coal  measure  of  this  and  adjoining  counties  is  underlaid  with 
a  very  superior  grade  of  clay,  including  that  suitable  for  pottery  and  fire- 
brick. White  settlers  first  began  to  use  this  clay  in  this  portion  of  the  state, 
for  making  "stone-ware."  By  1840  this  had  grown  to  be  a  large  industry.    It 


then  went  down  largely  and  by  1853  but  little  was  made  use  of.  Efforts  were 
made  then  to  utilize  the  shales  and  clays  again.  At  Hillsdale  and  at  Monte- 
zuma, Parke  county,  several  plants  were  erected  for  making  fire-clay  goods 
for  refractory  purposes,  in  the  construction  of  furnaces,  crucibles,  flues  and 
generally  where  heat  resistance  is  sought.  At  Montezuma,  too,  a  clay  roofing 
tile  factory  was  operated.  In  1890  the  clay  industry  again  took  on  new  life, 
and  four  large  plants  at  and  near  Montzuma  and  one  at  Clinton  were  estab- 
lished. The  business  up  and  down  the  Wabash,  in  these  two  counties,  is  now 
larsjelv  interested  in  tile. 



Perliaps  no  better,  reliable  account  of  the  Mound  Builders  and  Indians 
who  lived,  labored  and  died  within  the  domain  now  known  as  Vermillion 
county  can  be  given,  at  this  date,  than  that  prepared  from  facts  compiled  by 
that  student  and  correct  writer,  Hon.  John  Collett.  hence  the  following  de- 
scriptions of  those  who  inhabited  the  country  prior  to  the  coming  of  the  white 
race,  should  be  credited  largely  to  him.  and  as  he  was  the  state  geologist  and 
in  a  position  to  know  whereof  he  wrote,  it  will  be  taken  as  nearly  true  as 
mortal  man  can  now  hope  to  arrive  at  conclusions  drawn  b\-  him  and  made  a 
part  of  the  state's  record. 

When  first  explored  by  the  white  race,  this  county  was  occupied  by  sa\age 
Indians,  without  fixed  habitation,  averse  to  labor  and  delighting  only  in  w  ar 
and  the  chase.  Their  misty  traditions  did  not  reach  back  to  any  pre\-ious 
people  or  age,  but  numerous  earth-works  are'  found  in  this  region  of  such  ex- 
tent as  to  require  for  their  construction  much  time  and  the  persistent  labor  of 
many  people.  Situated  on  river  bluffs,  their  location  combines  picturesifue 
scenery,  adaptability  for  defense,  convenience  for  transportation  l^y  water,  and 
productive  lands.  These  are  not  requisites  in  the  nomadic  life  of  red-men,  and 
identify  the  Mound  Builders  as  a  partially  civilized  people.  Their  mounds 
and  other  works  are  of  such  extent  that  it  required  years  of  labor,  with  basket 
and  shovel,  to  erect  such  coordination  of  labor  as  to  indicate  the  rule  of  priest- 
ly government  or  regal  authority:  they  were  certainl}'  to  that  extent  civilized. 
Their  work  in  its  vastness  shows  that  governments  were  necessary,  which 
must  have  had  civil  power  to  request  and  require  the  necessary  labor.  The 
implements  found  in  the  graves,  mounds  and  tombs  were  more  often  domestic 
and  agricultural,  and  indicate  a  peaceful,  obedient  race.  Their  temples  were 
defended  by  bulwarks  of  loving  hearts  rather  than  by  warrior  braves.  Many 
of  the  religious  emblems  and  articles  of  utility  made  of  stone  point  back  to  the 
earliest  forms  of  sentiment  represented  by  the  fire  and  sun  worshipers  of  cen- 
tral Asia  and  give  a  clue  to  the  reason  w^hy  their  favorite  habitations  and 
mounds  were  as  a  rule  never  placed  beneath  the  eastern  bluffs  of  streams,  but 
on  the  other  hand  were  so  located  in  ele\-ated  positions,  or  on  the  western 


bluffs,  that  when  the  timber  was  cleared  away  and  the  lands  reduced  to  culti- 
vation, a  long  outlook  was  given  to  the  east  and  to  the  sun  rise,  from  which 
direction  their  expected  Messiah,  or  ruler,  was  to  come.  Similar  customs  still 
prevail  in  Mexico. 

Traditions  intimate  that  the  tribes  were  driven  southward,  from  the  north- 
ern portion  of  the  continent,  and  these  traditions  are  corroborated  by  the  dis- 
covery of  relics  in  this  region  made  from  material  found  far  to  the  north. 

Clusters  of  mounds  are  found  in  Vemiillion  county,  on  Mound  prairie, 
near  the  Shelby  battle  ground  and  nearly  all  along  the  track  between  Eugene 
and  Newport,  many  of  them  from  twenty  to  forty  feet  in  diameter,  four,  five 
or  six  feet  high,  and  the  clusters  containing  from  ten  to  eighty  mounds.  One 
memorable  mound  is  situated  in  the  northern  part  of  the  city  of  Clinton,  from 
which  earth  was  removed  for  road  building  about  1830.  In  it  were  found 
stone  implements  of  the  Mound  Builders  accompanied  with  copper  beads,  fi\e 
copper  rods,  half  an  inch  in  diameter  and  eighteen  inches  long,  showing  that 
it  was  one  of  the  earliest  of  the  Mound  Builders  works,  while  they  were  also 
accompanied  with  other  implements  imported  from  the  north. 

Another,  on  the  Head  farm,  near  Newport,  had  copper  rods,  or  spear- 
heads and  smaller  stone  implements.  These  were  probably  burial  grounds. 
A  majority  of  them  contained  no  relics,  but  were  simply  abandoned  mounds 
of  habitation.  Mr.  Pigeon,  in  his  volume  called  "Dacoudah,"  says  he  no- 
ticed figured  mounds  of  men  and  beasts  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Little  Ver- 
million, three  or  four  miles  from  its  mouth.  A  burial  mound,  near  the  north- 
east corner,  contained  a  chief  in  a  sitting  position,  in  the  center.  Radiating 
from  his  body,  like  the  spokes  of  a  wheel,  were  five  persons,  slaves  or  wives, 
to  wait  upon  him  in  the  other  world.  His  useful  implements  for  the  other 
world  were  a  great  number  of  copper  beads  from  a  half  inch  to  an  inch  and  a 
quarter  in  diameter,  seven  copper  axes,  one  of  which  contained  unmelted  A'ir- 
gin  silver,  as  it  occurs  at  Lake  Superior,  varying  in  weight  from  two  to  eight 
pounds,  and  seven  copper  rods  (spear  heads),  with  pots  and  crocks,  contain- 
ing black  mold,  as  if  it  were  food.  The  streams  near  their  homes  afforded  fish 
for  food,  and  the  implements  found  indicated  that  they  were  skilled  in  hand- 
ling fish  spears  and  gigs.  The  soil  surrounding  their  homes  was  always  the 
choicest,  with  the  addition  of  beautiful  and  engaging  scenerw  The  relics 
found  in  their  mounds  show  that  in  their  more  northern  home,  in  Wisconsin, 
Minnesota  and  Michigan,  the  common  northern  material,  the  striped  slate  and 
copper,  was  abundant.  In  Vermillion  county  relics  of  this  character  were 
scarce  and  precious,  if  not  holy.  At  more  southern  points,  striped  slate  im- 
plements of  northern  stone  are  very  rare,  while  the  precious  copper  could  no 


longer  be  used  in  implement  making,  but  was  beaten  into  the  iinest  of  sheets 
and  bent  over  ornamental  pendants.  All  these,  and  the  customs  of  their  bur- 
ial, indicate  an  Asiatic  origin,  and  prove  conclusively  that  in  their  migration 
to  this  region  they  passed  b}'  more  northern  regions,  including  Lake  Superior. 

Afterwards  the  northern  barbarian  came,  of  an  intermediate  race,  between 
the  Mound  Builder  and  the  red  man.  The  Mound  Builders  were  driven  away 
by  this  irruption,  their  property  seized,  many  of  their  wives  made  captives  and 
adopted  by  the  new  people.  Many  of  the  customs  of  the  old  people  conse- 
quently remained  with  the  newcomers,  and  the  latter  also  deposited  their  dead 
in  the  old  mounds  over  the  remains  of  the  more  ancient  people.  The  number 
of  individuals  thus  found  buried  together,  number  from  hve  to  two  or  three 
thousand.  Their  graves  and  relics  from  the  tombs  are  the  onh'  story  of  their 
lives.  Throughout  all  these  a  deep  spirit  of  religious  devotion  is  indicated,  as 
well  as  the  belief  in  the  existence  of  another  world  and  that  implements  of  a 
domestic  nature  were  necessary  to  the  comfort  of  the  departed. 

On  the  Moore  farm,  three  miles  northwest  of  Eugene,  Mr.  Zeke  Sheward. 
in  making  an  underground  "dug-out"'  for  the  storing  of  vegetables,  on  a  small 
mound  surrounded  by  giants  of  the  original  forest,  found  at  the  depth  of  three 
feet,  and  at  least  one  foot  below  the  surface  of  the  surrounding  soil  some 
pieces  of  metal  about  the  size  of  a  teaspoon  handle,  and  one  coin.  On  analysis 
they  were  found  to  be  made  of  lead,  antimony,  and  tin.  The  coin  had  in  relief 
easily  identified  figures,  of  a  worshiped  crocodile  of  Egypt,  or  a  hoh"  water 
dog  of  America,  and  wood  characters,  much  resembling  those  of  China,  or 
Hindostan.  Prof.  W.  D.  Whitney,  of  Yale  College,  one  of  the  most  thorough 
linguists  of  America,  believed  the  characters  to  be  Arabic,  but  of  so  ancient  a 
(late  that  the  Oriental  Society  was  unable  to  read  them.  The  director  of  the 
British  Museum,  in  London,  determined  them  to  be  ancient  Hindostanee,  but 
of  so  early  a  date  no  scholar  in  England  could  read  them.  Trees,  and  their 
remains,  indicate  an  age  of  more  than  two  thousand  years. 

In  March,  1880,  while  a  companv  of  gravel  road  workers  were  excavating 
gravel  from  the  bank  on  the  ridge  at  the  southwest  corner  of  the  Newport 
fair  ground,  five  human  skeletons  were  found,  supposed  to  be  the  remains  of 
Indians  buried  at  that  point  at  an  early  day.  In  the  gravel  bank  along  the 
railroad,  at  the  southeast  corner  of  the  fair  ground,  another  skeleton  was 
found.  No  implements  of  war  were  found  with  the  bones,  but  ashes  were  per- 
ceivable, which  would  indicate  that  they  were  the  remains  of  Indians.  After 
burying  the  dead  it  was  their  custom  in  some  parts  of  the  country  to  build  a 
fire  over  the  corpse.  !\Iany  of  the  skeletons  thus  discovered,  as  well  as  a  large 
portion  of  the  bones  of  the  lower  animals,  on  exposure  to  the  air,  crumble 


away  so  easily  that  it  becomes  impossible  to  preserve  them  for  exhibition. 
A  collection  of  a  dozen  skeletons  shows  by  measurements  of  the  thigh- 
bones found  that  the  warriors,  including  a  few  women,  averaged  over  six  feet 
and  two  inches  in  height,  ^^"ithout  animals  for  transportation,  their  bones 
were  made  wonderfully  strong  by  the  constant  carrying  of  heavy  burdens, 
and  their  joints  heavily  articulated,  and  the  trochanters  forming  the  attach- 
ment of  muscles  show  that  they  were  not  only  a  race  of  giant  statute,  but  also 
of  more  than  giant  strength. 

Many  relics  from  these  mounds,  as  well  as  from  the  surface  of  the  earth 
elsewhere,  have  been  collected  by  old  resident  physicians,  and  others,  especially 
Prof.  John  Collett,  late  state  geologist,  and  Josephus  Collett,  and  an  interest- 
ing museum  may  here  and  there  be  found  presenting  a  great  variety  of  arrow 
points,  spear  heads,  stone  axes,  tomahawks,  pestles,  mortars,  aboriginal  pot- 
tery, pipes,  ornaments,  bones  of  Indian  skeletons,  etc. 


.\t  the  adx'ent  of  the  white  man  to  the  Wabash  \alley  the  Indians  had 
virtually  ceased  from  their  long  warfare  and  were  living  in  a  quiet  state.  They 
had  no  villages  or  places  of  permanent  residence.  In  the  summer  time  they 
remained  at  one  point  and  in  the  autumn  and  winter  elsewhere.  They  lived  in 
wigwams  made  of  deer  skins  and  buffalo  robes,  which  could  he  easily  re- 
moved from  place  to  place,  or  be  substituted  by  others  made  from  the  bark  of 
trees.  The  first  white  settlers  saw  all  along  the  banks  of  the  creeks  and  rivers 
circular  holes  in  which  Indians  had  cooked  their  food,  and  at  night  would 
sleep  upon  the  ground  with  their  feet  hanging  down  in  the  warm  places  made 
there  in  the  manner  described.  The  Wabash  ri\er  was  by  them  called  Wah- 
bashshikka;  by  the  French,  Ouabache;  the  Vermillion  was  called  Osanamon, 
but  by  the  French,  a  name  which  signifies  yellow,  red  or  vermillion,  after- 
wards translated  into  English  as  Yellow  river. 

The  Miamis  occupied  a  portion  of  what  is  now  Vermillion  county,  but 
their  general  territory  was  east  of  the  Wabash.  They  were  a  tall,  straight 
race,  of  handsome  countenance,  especially  the  maidens,  and  were  bra\e  and 
terrible  as  enemies,  kind  and  faithful  as  friends. 

Then  there  were  the  Kickapoos,  or  Mosquitans,  originally  from  the 
north  and  northwest,  who  occupied  the  regions  south  and  southwest  of  the  Big 
Vermillion  river,  but  occasionally,  by  comity  of  neighbors,  camped  for  a 
greater  part  of  the  time  north  of  the  Vermillion,  on  their  neighbor's  territory. 
The  Pottawatomies,  also  a  northern  tribe,  owned  the  territory  and  their  rights 


were  recognized  by  the  government  in  treaties.  Vermillion  county  was  at  that 
time  and  had  been  for  some  years  the  home  of  each  tribe,  who  at  the  zenith 
of  their  power  had  their  headquarters  at  the  Big  Springs,  a  half  mile  south  of 
Eugene,  and  the  place  was  known  among  the  whites  as  Springfield.  There  the 
councils  of  their  confederacy  were  held  and  decisions  as  to  wars  and  other 
troubles  adjusted.  The  great  treaty  with  the  British  merchants  was  made, 
and  the  governor  of  Virgina  took  possession  of  immense  tracts  of  land  on  the 
lower  Wabash.  jNIany  of  the  early  settlers  recollected  the  meetings  held  there, 
comprising  eight  hundred  to  one  thousand  individuals.  The  Pottawatomies 
were  of  a  somewhat  subdued  disposition,  somewhat  stoop-shouldered  and  of 
unpleasant  countenance:  on  the  other  hand,  the  Kickapoos  were  a  warlike 
race,  quarreled  some  with  all  other  tribes,  and  only  happy  when  giving  and 
receiving  hard  blows. 

It  is  believed  that  the  French  missionaries  passed  down  or  up  the  Wa- 
bash as  early  as  1702,  possibly  two  years  earlier  than  that.  The  missionaries, 
being  Jesuits,  were  successful  in  winning  converts  among  the  savages.  Near 
the  Indian  village  on  section  16,  township  17,  range  9  west,  on  cutting  down 
a  white  oak  tree,  the  rings  of  growth  over  the  scar  made  by  a  white  man's  axe 
showed  that  the  incision  was  made  not  later  than  1720. 

It  was  about  1790  when  General  Hamtramck  led  his  expedition  of  Indian 
volunteers  and  militia  from  Vincennes  to  attack  the  non-aggressive  Indians 
and  their  village  on  the  old  Shelby  farm,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Vermillion. 
These  were  the  weakened  remnants  of  the  now  almost  extinct  Pottawatomies 
and  Kickapoos.  This  was  their  favorite  camping  ground,  the  confluence  of 
the  rivers  giving  them  opportunities  for  taking  fish,  which  were  then  very 
plentiful.  The  terrace  lands  above  were  filled  with  thousands  of  plum  bushes 
and  grape  vines,  and  it  was  known  as  the  "great  plum  patch."  The  expedi- 
tion, in  two  columns,  crossed  the  Indian  ford  at  Eugene,  just  north  of  where 
the  mill  dam  was  later  constructed.  Thence  they  marched  in  a  circuitous 
manner  to  attack  the  \illage  in  the  rear,  when  the  direct  division  should  attack 
it  at  the  same  time  from  the  south.  The  warriors  and  braves  were  off  on  a 
hunting  expedition,  and  there  were  none  to  molest  or  make  afraid  the  "gal- 
lant" soldiers,  except  the  broken  down  old  men,  the  women  and  the  children. 
It  is  no  wonder  that  later  gn  the  Indians  of  this  region  took  part  in  the  battle 
of  Falling  Timbers  and  Tippecanoe. 

La  Chappelle  is  the  name  of  the  first  trading  post  established  in  the  Ver- 
million village,  near  Hamtramck's  battle  ground,  the  northwest  quarter  of  sec- 
tion 33,  township  18,  range  9  west,  bv  M.  Laselle.  afterwards  for  many  years 
one  of  the  distinguished  citizens  of  Logansport,  this  state,     .\nother  trading 


post  was  subsequently  established  by  an  Englishman  on  the  John  Collett  farm, 
sections  9  and  16.  It  was  the  custom  of  the  French  traders  here  to  strike 
small  medals,  in  size  less  than  a  silver  quarter  of  a  dollar,  with  a  few  figures 
and  initial  letters  upon  them,  and  tack  them  upon  the  trees  at  the  mouths  of 
the  tributaries  claimed,  as  a  sign  of  possession. 

The  Indians  at  the  southern  end  of  this  county  did  their  trading  at 
stockades  in  Sullivan  and  Knox  counties.  Among  the  earliest  traders  were 
two  brothers,  Frenchmen,  named  Brouillet.  For  some  reason  the  Indians  of 
that  region  entertained  a  strong  enmity  toward  one  of  the  brothers.  He  was 
captured  and  brought  to  their  village,  near  the  mouth  of  a  creek  south  of 
Clinton,  that  now  bears  his  name.  At  once  it  was  decided  to  burn  him  at  the 
stake,  and  to  the  stake  he  was  fastened  with  buckskin  thongs.  After  the  men 
had  ceased  talking,  the  squaws,  according  to  Indian  custom,  had  a  right  to  be 
heard.  An  aged  squaw,  who  had  had  a  son  killed  in  warfare,  demanded  the 
right  to  adopt  the  prisoner  as  a  substitute  for  her  lost  son,  and  whilst  the 
privilege  was  generally  granted,  on  this  occasion  the  demand  was  refused, 
although  she  pleaded  earnestly  and  long.  In  her  \'\ild  but  heroic  determina- 
tion, she  seized  a  butcher  knife  and,  before  anyone  could  interfere,  cut  the 
prisoner  loose,  pointed  to  a  canoe  on  the  sand  shore  of  the  Wabash,  and  told 
him  to  run  and  save  his  life  if  he  could.  He  did  run.  Pushing  the  canoe  out 
into  the  water  as  far  as  possible,  and  giving  it  directive  force  toward  the 
middle  of  the  river  he  sprang  aboard  and,  lying  flat  in  its  bottom,  paddled  it 
into  the  stream  beyond  the  reach  of  the  Indians"  rifles  and  escaped.  This  inci- 
dent gave  the  stream  the  name  of  Brouillet's  creek. 

The  Brouillets  took  wives  from  the  Miami  tribe.  The  wife  of  the  elder 
Brouillet  belonged  to  the  family  in  the  line  of  promotion  to  the  chieftainship. 
On  his  death  the  mother  returned  to  her  people,  and  the  children  were  en- 
titled, according  to  law,  to  their  proper  home  and  position  among  her  people. 
Her  eldest  son  grew  up  an  enthusiastic  and  vigorous  young  man,  and  became 
one  of  the  chiefs  of  the  Miamis.  He  was  equitable  in  his  dealings,  energetic 
in  his  duties,  and  a  great  commander.  His  prudence  served  in  a  great  meas- 
ure to  settle  any  difficulties  with  his  white  neighbors,  who  were  constantly  ' 
encroaching  upon  his  territory  and  often  inflicting  injustice  upon  his  people. 
Frequently,  the  young  men  desired  to  avenge  their  wrongs,  but  he  was  able 
to  prevent  the  butchering  episodes  of  Indian  warfare  and  retaliation. 

Joseph  Collett,  Sr.,  after  surveying  through  the  then  swampv  grounds  of 
Hendricks  and  Montgomery  counties,  found  that  his  camp  was  without  pro- 
visions, and  all,  including  himself,  were  more  or  less  sick.  On  the  return 
march  of  Gen.  W'illiani  Henrv  Harrison's  armv  to  Fort  Harrison,  now  the 


city  of  Terre  Haute,  he  directed  the  others  to  go  and  secure  food,  and  leave 
him  on  the  bank  of  the  Raccoon  creek  in  a  little  tent.  Chief  Brouillet  came  to 
him,  offered  his  services  to  kill  game  and  to  dress  and  cook  it,  and  tenderly 
care  for  him,  which  he  did  as  well  as  could  a  woman.  Fifty  years  later,  Mr. 
Collett  could  only  recall  the  experience  and  scene  with  tears  in  his  eyes,  and 
declared  Chief  Brouillet  was  one  of  the  best  looking  men  that  ever  trod  the 
banks  of  the  Wabash,  and  that  he  was  as  kind  hearted  as  he  was  brave. 


In  the  march  to  Tippecanoe  the  Confederate  Indians  had  prepared  an 
ambuscade  for  Harrison's  army  at  the  narrow  pass  between  the  high,  rocky 
bluffs  and  the  Wabash  river,  at  Vicksburg,  near  Perrysville.  The  army 
forded  the  river  near  Montezuma  and  marched  up  on  the  west  side  of  the 
river  and  thus  avoided  that  ambuscade.  They  crossed  the  Little  Vermillion, 
near  the  railroad  bridge  of  later  years,  passed  up  the  hollow  just  back  of 
where  Joseph  Morehead  later  settled.  Remnants  of  their  corduroy  road  and 
bridge  might  have  been  seen  a  quarter  of  a  century  later.  On  tliat  march  the 
useless  shooting  of  a  gun  was  prohibited,  and  even  loud  talking,  under  pen- 
alty of  death.  Judge  Naylor,  of  Crawfordsville,  who  was  one  of  the  volun- 
teers, tells  the  incident  that  on  Oak  Island,  on  S.  S.  Collett's  farm,  a  fright- 
ened deer  jumped  over  the  outer  rank  of  men,  and  finding  himself  penned  in, 
ran  in  various  directions,  over  the  enclosed  space,  and  although  the  soldiers 
needed  fresh  meat  they  were  not  permitted  to  shoot  the  animal.  It  was  al- 
lowed to  get  away  in  safety.  On  the  two  spring  branches,  on  the  John  Col- 
lett farm,  sections  9  and  16,  corduroy  roads  were  to  be  seen  as  late  as  1890. 

The  army  marched  as  close  to  the  ri\'er  bank  as  possible,  for  the  protec- 
tion of  the  pirogues  and  keel-boats,  which  carried  corn  for  their  horses  and 
pro\isions  for  the  men.  Spies  reported  that  on  account  of  low  water  further 
navigation  was  impracticable  at  Coal  Creek  bar.  The  boats  were  landed  on 
the  Collett  farm,  near  the  later-day  ferry  known  as  Gardner's  Ferry.  It  was 
determined  to  build  a  stockade  on  the  farm  of  the  late  J.  W.  Porter,  at  a  point 
known  as  Porter's  eddy,  and  that  it  should  partially  overhang  the  river,  so  as 
to  protect  the  boats  and  their  stores.  Such  a  fort  could  usually  ha\e  lieen 
built  in  one  day,  but  in  the  bustle  and  hurry  of  handling  they  lost  half  their 
axes  in  the  water.  One  of  these  was  a  long  time  afterwards  found,  and  it 
was  considered  curious  that  a  new  axe,  unused  and  mounted  with  an  unused 
handle,  should  be  found  there,  until  Judge  Naylor  explained  the  fact  that 
many  axes  were  there  lost  on  the  occasion  just  mentioned,  while  the  men  were 


busily  engaged  in  building  the  stockade.  Persons  were  still  living  in  1890,  in 
this  count)',  who  remember  seeing  portions  of  this  old  stockade. 

The  Kentuckians  and  the  mounted  rifle  men  recruited  their  horses  on  the 
rich  blue  grass  pastures,  in  the  river  valley  bottoms,  on  the  Porter  and  Col- 
lett  farms. 

A  sergeant  and  eight  men  were  left  to  guard  the  stockade.  About  seven 
days  afterward  a  wild  looking  soldier  returned,  reporting  a  disastrous  battle 
at  Tippecanoe,  the  defeat  and  destruction  of  the  whole  army,  and  that  he  alone 
was  left  to  tell  the  stor}' ;  that  they  must  quickly  destroy  the  post  and  retreat  to 
a  safe  place.  The  sergeant's  reply  was,  "I  was  ordered  to  hold  this  post:  I 
shall  do  so.  And  as  for  you.  deserter  and  coward,  my  men  will  put  you  u]ion 
the  ridge-pole  of  the  stockade,  and  tie  your  feet  together.  If  the  Indians 
come  you  will  catch  the  first  bullet  and  shall  be  the  first  to  die.  \\\'  \Aill  die 
at  our  post  of  duty." 

The  army  marched  through  the  prairie  region,  west  of  Perrys\-ille,  to 
where  State  Line  village  now  stands,  and  near  which  place  they  passed  the 
north  boundary  of  this  county,  and  from  which  point  the  line  of  march  and 
camping  places  has  already  been  described. 

Major  James  Blair  and  Judge  J.  M.  Coleman  settled  on  section  16,  be- 
tween Eugene  and  Newport,  before  the  land  in  that  region  was  offered  for 
sale  by  the  government.  The  prairie  was  known  as  Little  A/^ermillion,  or 
Coleman's  prairie.  These  two  men  had  always  been  pioneers.  Blair  liad  been 
one  of  the  heroes  of  Perry's  victories  on  Lake  Erie,  and  later  held  conspicu- 
ous positions  of  honor  and  trust  in  the  community  and  state;  but  at  this  time 
he  and  Coleman  were  peace-makers  bet\\een  the  Indians,  whose  confidence 
they  had,  and  they  knew  that  Indians,  if  properly  treated,  could  be  trusted. 

Se-Seep,  or  See-Sheep,  a  small,  bow^-legged,  stoop-shouldered,  white- 
haired  man  a  hundred  and  ten  years  old,  was  chief  of  the  Pottawatomies  and 
their  allied  Kickapoos.  Their  territory  ranged  from  the  Little  Vermillion  to 
Pine  creek,  including  the  north  half  of  Vermillion  county,  all  of  ^^'arren  and 
the  west  half  of  Fountain.  Se-Seep  had  been  a  gallant  fighter  in  the  defense 
of  his  people  and  country  at  the  battle  of  Fallen  Timbers  ( ^^'ayne's  \ictory), 
and  afterwards  in  the  terrible  defeat  of  his  people  at  Tippecanoe.  Bra\e  and 
heroic  in  battle,  after  signing  the  treaties  of  peace  with  the  American  authori- 
ties, he  was  faithful  and  trustworthy  and  finally  became  a  reliable  friend  of 
the  white  people.  He  became  the  hero  of  a  serio-comic  incident  wherein 
Noah  Hubbard,  who  settled  on  Indian  lands  where  Cayuga  now  stands,  be- 
came the  Ijutt  of  ridicule.  Hubbard  was  cultivating  a  portion  of  a  ten-acre 
tract.     One  dav  the  Indians  crossed  at  the  Armv  Ford  and  "stole"  roasting 


ears  and  squashes  as  rental.  Hubbard  found  Se-Seep  with  some  ears  of  corn 
and  two  squashes  in  the  folds  of  his  lilanket,  and  he  undertook  to  castigate  the 
chief  with  a  cane.  Se-Seep  did  not  scare,  but,  dropping  the  vegetables  and 
corn,  chased  Hubbard  out  of  the  field  with  a  stick.  Then  Hubbard  went  to 
Blair  and  Coleman  and  demanded  that  the}'  should  call  out  the  Rangers  and 
the  mounted  riflemen,  declaring  that  the  Indians  were  destroying  his  prop- 
erty, and  that  the)-  should  l)e  dealt  with  and  punished.  The}-  refused  to  call 
out  the  Rangers,  but  said  he  might  notify  them  to  assemble  at  their  house  the 
next  morning.  He  did  so,  and  the  next  morning  some  of  the  riflemen  also 
assembled  and  commenced  shooting  at  a  mark.  The  Indians  had  camped  for 
the  night,  a  mile  to  the  north,  at  the  famous  Buffalo  Springs.  Blair  intro- 
duced to  the  Indians  the  n-iatters  of  difference,  and  concluded  tn  have  an  imi- 
tation Indian  pow-wow.  Accordingly,  he  and  Coleman,  who  had  been  chosen 
as  arbitrators,  repaired  to  a  plum  thicket,  with  a  well-worn  Testament,  a 
wooden-covered  spelling  book,  a  dilapidated  almanac  and  a  remnant  of  an  old 
law  book,  as  authorities.  Here  they  held  a  sham  court,  chattering  gibberish 
antl  gesticulating  like  Indians,  and  finall}-  rendered  the  following  ^■erdict : 
That  the  two  litigants  settle  the  whole  matter  by  a  fist  fight.  The  decision 
was  no  sooner  announced  than  the  little  old  Indian  chief,  who  was  dressed 
onl}-  with  a  blanket-belt,  threw-  it  oft'  and  made  rapidly  for  llulibard.  Of 
course  the  latter  ran  as  fast  as  he  could,  mounted  his  pony  and  was  soon  out 
of  sight.  The  Indians,  who  are  scarcely  ever  known  to  laugh,  indulged 
heartily  on  this  occasion. 

Se-Seep  was  finall}-  nuirdered  in  a  foul  manner  at  Xebuker's  S])rings. 
I'ountain  county,  at  the  age  of  one  hundred  and  ten  years,  by  a  lazy,  vicious 
Indian  named  Nanmqua.  He  had  a  splendid  son,  who,  at  the  age  of  seven- 
teen }ears,  was  killed  by  falling  fifty  feet  from  a  tree,  wdnile  fighting  a  bear, 
near  the  residence  of  John  Collett. 

Although  no  battles  or  skirmishes  in  connection  with  the  war  of  1S12 
took  place  in  this  county,  the  "A'ermillion  countr\-"  wa>  two  or  ihree  times 
crossed  by  belligerents.  From  a  copy  of  Gen.  John  Tipton"s  journal  it  is 
learned :  Tipton  was  an  illiterate  man,  but  a  daring  fighter,  and  in  the  autumn 
of  1811  he,  as  a  ]:)rivate  in  Captain  Spencer's  Harrison  County  Riflemen,  jour- 
ne}-ed  fron-i  Corydon,  that  county,  down  the  ^Vabash  to  Fort  Harrison,  four 
miles  north  of  Terre  Haute,  and  up  the  same  stream  again,  in  the  Indian  can-i- 
paign  which  ended  in  the  bloody  battle  of  Tippecanoe.  The  company  com- 
prised forty-seven  men,  besides  ofificers,  and  these  were  joined  b}-  Captain 
Heath  and  tw-ent}--two  men.  In  going  down  the  river  they  guarded  a  keel- 
boat  of  provisions  for  Camp  Harrison,  and  concerning  this  trip  it  ma}-  be 


quoted:  "October  6. — We  moved  early;  one  mile  came  to  the  river  at  the 
coal  bank;  found  it  was  below  the  Vermillion  half  a  mile;  we  took  coffee; 
moved  after  the  boat  started  down.  The  coal  bank  is  on  the  east  side  of  the 
Wabash.  We  went  through  a'  small  prairie;  crossed  the  river  to  the  west 
side;  went  in  on  the  head  of  a  bar  and  came  out  on  the  lower  end  of  another 
on-  the  west  side ;  went  through  a  small  prairie,  then  came  to  a  big  prairie, 
where  the  old  Vermillion  town  was.  We  crossed  the  Wabash  half  a  mile 
above  the  Vermillion  river's  mouth,  before  we  came  to  the  above  town. 
Crossed  the  \'ermillion  ri\er,  took  a  south  course  through  timbered  land,  and 
then  through  a  prairie  with  a  good  spring  and  an  old  Indian  hut.  then  through 
a  beautiful  timbered  ground  to  a  small  creek,  and  stopped  to  let  our  horses 
graze;  then  went  through  a  good  land  with  a  ridge  on  our  right  out  of  which 
came  four  springs,  and  for  two  miles  nothing  but  large  sugar  and  walnut. 
The  hill  and  the  river  came  close  together.  We  found  a  good  coal  bank 
fourteen  miles  l>eow  Vermillion.  We  then  crossed  to  the  east  side,  went  three 
miles  and  camped  with  the  boat;  after  coming  twenty  miles  and  finding  two 
bee  trees,  left  them." 

An  entry  was  made  on  the  31st  as  follows  ; 

"We  moved  early.  Two  of  the  oxen  missing.  Three  of  our  men  sent  to 
hunt  for  them.  We  crossed  Raccoon  creek.  Saw  our  men  who  went  to 
guard  the  boats  on  the  29th ;  they  left  us.  We  came  to  the  river  where  we 
camped  on  our  return  from  Vermillion  on  the  night  of  the  6th ;  thence  up  to 
the  ford.  Saw  our  boat  guard  just  crossing  the  river.  We  halted  till  the 
army  came  up,  then  rode  the  river,  which  was  very  deep,  then  camped.  Our 
boat-guard  and  the  men  who  went  to  hunt  the  oxen  came  up,  when  we  left 
the  guards.  We  took  a  north  course  up  the  east  side  of  the  Waljash,  crossed 
to  the  w  est,  with  orders  to  kill  all  the  Indians  we  saw.  Fine  news !  The  gov- 
ernor's wagon  was  left  this  morning  in  consequence  of  the  oxen  being  lost. 
All  the  army  crossed  in  three  hours.    We  drew  corn. 

"Friday,  November  i — I  was  sent  with  eighteen  men  to  look  for  a  way 
for  the  army  to  cro«s  Little  Vermillion.  Marched  at  daybreak;  came  to  the 
creek ;  found  and  marked  the  road ;  waited  till  the  army  came  up ;  went  on 
and  camped  on  the  river  two  miles  below  the  Big  Vermillion ;  Captain  Spencer, 
myself  and  three  others  went  up  the  Big  \^ermillion ;  returned  to  camp.  Gen- 
eral Wells,  with  forty  men,  and  Captain  Berry,  w  ith  nine  men,  had  come  up. 
Our  camp  marched  in  front  today,  as  usual,  which  now  consisted  of  thirty- 
seven  men,  in  consequence  of  Captain  Berry  and  Lindlex-  ])eing  attached  to  it. 

"Saturday,  November  2. — A  fine  day.  Captain  S])encer,  with  ten  men, 
went  out  on  a  scout.     Our  company  not  ]iarading  as  usual,   the  Governor 


threatened  to  break  the  officers.  I  staid  in  cam]).  The  army  staid  here  to  build 
a  block  house  on  the  bank  of  the  Wabash  three  miles  below  Vermillion,  in  a 
small  prairie.  The  house  twenty-five  feet  square,  and  a  breastwork  from  each 
corner  next  the  river  down  to  the  water.  Took  horses  and  drew  brush  over 
the  prairie  to  break  down  the  weeds.  This  e\-ening-  a  man  came  from  the 
garrison ;  said  last  night  his  boat  was  fired  upon.  One  man,  who  was  asleep, 
was  killed.  Three  boats  came  up,  unloaded ;  went  back,  taking  a  sick  man 
with  them.     One  of  Captain  Bobb's  men  died  tonight." 

"Sunday,  the  3d. — A  cloudy  da}-.  ^Ve  moved  early.  Our  company 
marched  on  the  right  wing  today.  Crossed  the  big  Vermillion,  through  a 
prairie  six  miles,  through  timber,  then  through  a  wet  prairie  with  groves  of 
timber  in  it,"  etc. 

Thus  has  been  quoted  all  of  General  Tipton's  journal  that  pertains  to 
the  march  through  Vermillion  county.  Under  date  of  November  7,  181 1,  he 
gives  an  account  of  the  battle  of  Tippecanoe,  in  a  paragraph  scarcel\-  longer 
than  the  average  of  his  journal,  as  if  unaware  that  this  action  was  of  any 
greater  importance  than  an  insignificant  skirmish.  Tipton  was  promoted  from 
rank  to  rank  until  he  was  finally  made  general.  His  orthography,  punctuation, 
etc..  were  so  bad  we  conclude  not  to  follnw  it  in  the  above  extracts,  save  in  a 
few  cases,  like  spelling  "staid." 

Nearly  every  entry  in  his  daily  journal  not  quoted  opens  with  the  state- 
ment that  the  weather  is  very  cold.  He  also  makes  occasional  reference  to 
the  soldiers  drawing  their  rations  of  whisky,  from  one  to  four  quarts  at  a  time. 

In  Harrison's  march  to  Tippecanoe  his  boats  (pirogues)  could  not  pass 
Coal  Creek  bar,  spoken  of  above,  under  date  of  October  31st.  and  for  their 
protection  he  built  a  stockade  fort  at  the  head  of  Porter's  edd}-.  the  precise 
location  being  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  9.  township  17,  range  9  west. 
Here  he  left  the  sergeant  and  ten  men  to  guard  them.  The  remains  of  the 
heavy  timbers  were  still  to  be  plainl}'  observed  in  1839.  Corduroy  or  pole 
bridges,  buried  in  mud,  might  have  been  seen  in  1890.  on  the  spring  branches 
on  the  farms  of  Hon.  John  Collett,  S.  S.  Collett  and  the  Head  family,  sec- 
tions 9  and  15,  town-ship  17,  range  9  west.  General  Harrison  also  had  caches 
(places  for  the  safe  keeping  and  hiding  of  fond)  in  this  county  along  the 

According  to  the  treaties.  General  Harrison  made  a  purchase  for  the 
government,  the  northern  line  of  which,  west  of  the  Wabash,  extended  from  a 
point  directly  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  big  Raccoon  creek  northwesterly. 
This  tract  was  opened  for  white  settlement  long  before  the  southern  portion 
of  the  county  was,  which  remained  in  the  possession  of  the  Kickapoos  and 
Pottawatomies  for  a  few  years  longer. 



The  date  of  tlie  first  settlement  1iv  while  men  in  V'ermilhon  county  was 
1816.  The  location  was  the  southeast  corner  of  section  9.  township  14,  range 
9  west,  where  John  Vannest  and  a  man  named  Hunter,  who  was  by  occupa- 
tion also  a  hunter,  had  ventured  west  of  the  ^^'abash  to  select  land  for  making 
a  permanent  home.  This  point  was  about  a  mile  north  of  where  now  stands 
the  thriving  city  of  Clinton.  Here  they  halted  first  for  the  night.  Hunter  soon 
secured  a  deer,  which  he  killed,  and  thus  they  were  proxided  with  a  fine  sup- 
per. In  the  morning,  after  gazing  about  for  a  few  minutes  only,  Mr.  Vannest 
decided  that  that  would  be'as  good  a  location  as  he  would  probably  find.  Then 
he  returned  to  his  temporary  home  at  Fort  Harrison,  four  miles  north  of 
present  Terre  Haute,  and  wajted  a  short  time  for  the  day  of  the  government 
land  sales  to  arrix'e  at  Vincennes.  He  then  entered  three-quarters  of  section 
9,  and  l.ater  purchased  the  other  quarter  of  the  same  section  of  William  Rales. 
This  land  is  on  the  second  bottom,  very  high  and  beautifully  undulating,  liut 
was  originally  heavily  covered  with  excellent  timber.  Had  he  gone  a  little 
further  to  the  north  he  would  ha\'e  disco\ered  a  beautiful  little  prairie,  which 
would  be  land  already  cleared  for  him ;  but  this  point  was  either  unknown  to 
him.  or  else  it  was  too  near,  or  even  over,  the  line  between  the  government 
land  and  that  of  the  Indians,  .\gain,  at  that  day  it  was  a  question  in  the 
minds  of  settlers  as  to  whether  the  prairie  lands  could  be  profitably  culti- 
va!ted  and  dwelt  upon  with  safety  and  comfort  the  year  al)out  on  account  of 
the  cold  winds. 

On  these  finely  situated  lands  of  timber  Mr.  Vannest  settled,  bringing 
with  him  his  wife  and  several  children.  Erecting  first  a  log  cabin  on  the  ^^•est 
side  of  his  land,  he  occupied  it  for  a  long  period,  when  he  built  a  large  brick 
residence,  from  bricks  he  had  made  near  by.  This  was  Vermillion  countA^'s 
first  brick  structure.  The  brick-mason  employed  was  a  Mr.  Jones  from  near 
Newport.  Years  afterward  this  residence  was  considered  unsafe  and  was 
torn  down. 

The  lands  Mr.  Vannest  obtained  remain  mostly  (or  did  a  few  _\-ears 
since)  in  the  name  of  his  descendants,  and  it  is  a  remarkable  fact  that  from 


tliis  land  no  less  than  fort}--five  men  entered  the  sersice  of  their  country  dur- 
ing the  great  Civil  war  from  1861  to  1865 — a  loyal  spot  indeed,  and  its  in- 
habitants all  defenders  of  the  "Stars  and  Stripes." 

John  Vannest,  Jr.,  son  of  the  first  settler  \^annest,  was  the  first  white 
child  horn  in  Veraiillion  county,  although  it  has  been  sometimes  stated  that  the 
lirst  was  Hon.  William  Skidmore,  of  Helt  township.  John  Vannest,  Sr., 
died  at  the  age  of  sixty-two  years  on  September  28,  1842,  and  his  wife  Mary 
died  August  29,  1824,  aged  forty-four  years,  both  being  buried  in  the  Clinton 
cemetery,  north  of  town.  One  of  their  daughters,  Sarah,  who  became  the 
widow  of  Scott  Malone,  was  the  oldest  woman  resident  of  Clinton  county  in 
1889,  and  used  to  recall  the  time  when  the  girls,  as  well  as  boys,  had  to  "go 
to  meeting"  and  to  school  barefooted,  sometimes  walking  and  other  times 
going  on  horseback.  The  schools  and  religious  services  were  held  in  the  then 
popular  log  school  house,  with  puncheon  floor,  mud-and-stick  chimney,  flat 
rails  for  benches,  a  slab  pinned  up  for  a  w  riting  desk,  and  greased  paper  for 

Mrs.  ^klalone  and  her  twin  sister,  born  August  6,  1812,  hence  four  years 
of  age  when  the  parents  moved  to  Vermillion  county,  were  remarkable  from 
the  fact  that  they  so  nearly  resembled  one  another  that  even  in  womanhood 
one  was  m.istaken  for  the  other,  even  by  their  own  children.  The  twin  sister 
was  Jane,  who  married  Thomas  Kibby,  and  died  in  ]\Iarch,  1880.  Records 
left  liy  these  worthy  women  have  materially  aided  the  present  historian. 

Mrs.  Vannest  had  two  narrow  escapes  from  death  at  the  hands  of  the 
Indians.  This  came  about  as  follows :  Two  white  soldiers  at  Camp  Harri- 
son became  engaged  in  a  quarrel  one  da)-,  and  one  of  them,  in  attempting  to 
shoot  the  other,  carelessly  missed  his  aim  and  killed  an  Indian  squaw  l^evnnd. 
Thereupon  the  red-skins  vowed  that  they  would  kill  the  first  "white  squaw" 
they  saw  who  should  cross  to  the  west  side  of  the  Wabash.  .Vccordingly. 
they  watched  their  opportunity,  and  made  two  attempts  to  take  the  life  of 
Mrs.  Vannest.  In  the  first  instance  her  life  was  saved  by  the  timely  inter- 
ference of  a  friendly  Indian,  and  the  other  time  by  the  violent  interference  of 
her  relatives  and  friends.  Soon  after  this  her  husband  took  her  back  to  Fort 
Harrison,  where  she  remained  until  the  afifair  had  been  partiallv  forgotten  bv 
the  Indians. 

The  above  will  sufiice  on  the  first  settlement  of  this  county,  and  this  brief 
description  will  be  followed  up  in  the  histories  of  the  various  townships. 



At  an  early  day  there  were  several  circular  "hunts"  or  "drives."  The 
largest  competitive  chase  held  in  the  county  lasted  three  months.  Two  leaders 
were  chosen,  who  picked  their  men  and  divided  the  neighborhood  into  two 
parties  for  a  compass  of  ten  miles;  they  were  to  bring  in  the  scalps  of  the 
slain  animals  at  the  end  of  three  months,  and  the  leader  who  showed  the  most 
scalps  could  demand  five  gallons  of  the  best  whisky,  as  a  treat  from  the  beaten 
side.  A  wolf,  fox,  crow,  coon,  or  mink  scalp  was  to  be  considered  equal  to 
five  other  scalps  in  their  value.  A  squirrel  or  chipmunk  scalp  counted  one. 
On  the  appointed  day  the  opposing  forces  assembled.  The  committees  began 
to  count  the  scalps,  and  the  task  took  them  until  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
when  it  was  announced  that  there  were  seventy  thousand  scalps.  Thus  by  a 
general  rivalry,  the  settlers  enjoyed  the  execution  of  a  plan  which  proved  the 
means  of  safety  and  protection  to  their  homes  and  their  crops. 



The  territory  comprising  present  Vermillion  county  is  thirty-seven  miles 
long  from  north  to  south  and  a\erages  about  seven  miles  in  width  from  east 
to  west.  It  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  Warren  county,  Indiana,  on  the  east 
by  the  Wabash  river  (Fountain  and  Parke  counties),  on  the  south  by  Vigo 
county,  and  on  the  west  by  Edgar  and  Vermillion  counties,  in  Illinois. 

Vermillion  was  originally  a  part  of  Vigo  county.  In  1821  Vigo  county 
was  divided  by  the  organization  of  Parke  county,  which  comprised  Vermillion 
as  a  part  of  it,  and  Roseville,  on  the  Big  Raccoon,  was  the  coiJnty  seat.  In 
1823,  by  act  of  the  Indiana  Legislature,  Parke  county  was  divided  by  the 
Wabash  river,  the  part  west  of  the  river  being  organized  as  Vermillion  county 
and  named  from  the  rivers.  For  manv  years  the  Big  Vemiillion  river  had 
been  the  boundary  between  the  possessions  of  the  Peaukeshaws  on  the  south 
and  the  Kickapoos  and  Pottawatomies  on  the  north,  and  during  the  period  of 
ownership  by  France  it  was  a  part  of  the  boundary  between  Canada  and 

Vermillion  county  was  created  by  an  act  of  the  General  Assembly,  ap- 
proved January  2,  1824.  In  order  that  it  may  be  referred  to  as  the  genera- 
tions come  and  go,  and  being  assured  that  it  is  authentic,  as  copied  from  the 
minutes  and  journals  of  the  General  Assembly  of  the  state,  the  full  text  of 
the  bill  is  here  given,  and  reads  as  follows : 

■'Section  i.  Be  it  enacted  by  the  General  Assembly  of  the  state  of  In- 
diana, that  from  and  after  the  first  day  of  February  next,  all  that  part  of  the 
counties  of  Parke  and  Wabash  included  within  the  following  bounds  shall 
form  a  new  county,  that  is  to  say:  Beginning  on  the  west  bank  of  tfie 
Wabash  river,  where  the  township  line  dividing  townships  numbered  13  and 
14  north,  of  range  9  west,  of  the  second  principal  meridian,  crosses  the  same; 
thence  west  to  the  state  line ;  thence  north  to  the  line  dividing  townships  num- 
bered 19  and  20  north;  thence  east  to  the  ^^^abash  river;  thence  south  with 
the  meanders  of  said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning. 

"Section  2.  The  said  new  county  shall,  from  and  after  the  first  dav  of 
February  next,  be  known  and  designated  by  the  name  of  the  county  of  Ver- 


million,  and  it  shall  enjoy  all  the  rights  and  privileges  and  jurisdictions  which 
to  a  separate  and  independent  county  do  or  may  properly  belong  or  appertain ; 
provided  always,  that  all  suits,  pleas,  plaints,  actions  and  proceedings  which 
may  before  the  first  day  of  March  next  have  been  commenced,  instituted  and 
pending  within  the  county  of  Parke,  shall  be  prosecuted  to  final  judgment  and 
effect  in  the  same  manner  as  if  this  act  had  not  been  passed ;  providing  also, 
that  the  state  and  county  taxes  which  are  now  due  within  the  bounds  of  the 
said  new  county  shall  be  collected  and  paid  in  the  same  manner  and  by  the 
same  officers  as  they  would  have  been  if  the  creation  of  the  said  new  count}- 
had  not  taken  place. 

"Section  3.  Robert  Sturgis  and  Samuel  Caldwell,  of  the  county  of 
Vigo;  Moses  Robbins,  of  Parke  county;  William  Pugh,  of  Sullivan  county, 
and  William  Mcintosh,  of  the  county  of  Putnam,  are  hereby  appointed  com- 
missioners, agreeably  to  the  act  entitled  'An  act  for  the  fixing  of  the  seats  of 
justice  in  alUnew  counties  hereafter  to  be  laid  off.'  The  commissioners  above 
named,  or  a  majority  of  them,  shall  convene  at  the  house  of  James  Blair,  in 
the  said  new  county  of  Vermillion,  on  the  first  day  of  March  next,  and  im- 
mediately proceed  to  discharge  the  duties  assigned  them  by  law.  It  is  hereby 
made  the  duty  of  the  sheriff  of  Parke  county  to  notify  said  commissioners 
either  in  person  or  by  written  notice  of  their  appointment,  on  or  before  the 
first  day  of  February  next ;  and  the  said  sheriff  of  Parke  county  shall  receive 
from  said  county  of  Vermillion  such  compensation  therefor  as  the  county 
commissioners  of  said  new  county  of  Vermillion  shall  deem  just  and  reason- 
able ;  who  are  hereby  authorized  to  allow  the  same  out  of  moneys  in  the 
treasury  of  said  county,  not  otherwise  appropriated,  in  tlie  same  manner  as 
other  allowances  are  made. 

"Section  4.  The  circuit  court  of  the  county  of  Vermillion  shall  meet  at 
the  house  of  James  Blair,  in  the  said  new  county  of  A'ermillion,  until  suitable 
accommodations  can  be  had  at  the  county  seat ;  they  shall  adjourn  their 
courts  thereto,  after  which  time  the  courts  of  said  county  shall  be  holden  at 
the  seat  of  justice  of  said  county  established  by  law;  pro\ided  always,  that 
the  circuit  court  shall  have  authority  to  adjourn  the  court  from  the  house  of 
James  Blair  as  aforesaid,  to  any  other  place,  previous  to  the  completion  of  the 
public  buildings,  should  the  said  court  or  a  majority  of  them  deem  it  expedient. 

"Section  5.  The  board  of  county  commissioners  of  the  said  county  of 
Vermillion  shall  within  six  months  after  the  permanent  seat  of  justice  of  said 
county  has  been  selected,  proceed  to  erect  the  necssary  jjublic  buildings 

"Section  6.    The  agent  who  shall  be  appointed  for  the  sales  of  lots  at  the 


seat  of  justice  of  said  new  county  shall  reserve  and  receive  ten  per  centum 
out  of  the  proceeds  of  all  donations  made  to  said  county,  and  also  out  of  the 
proceeds  of  all  sales  made  of  lots  at  the  county  seat  of  said  county,  and  pay 
the  same  over  to  such  person  or  jjersons  as  ma)'  be  appointed  by  law  to  re- 
ceive the  same,  for  the  use  of  the  county  library  for  the  said  county  of  Ver- 
million, which  shall  pay  o^•er  at  such  time  and  place  as  may  be  directed  by 

"Section  7.  The  powers,  privileges  and  authorities  that  are  granted  to 
the  qualified  voters  of  the  county  of  Dubois  and  others  named  in  the  act  en- 
titled 'An  act  incorporating  a  county  library"  in  the  counties  therein  named, 
approved  January  28,  1818,  to  organize,  support  and  conduct  a  county  library, 
are  hereby  granted  to  the  qualified  voters  of  the  county  of  A'ermillion ;  and 
the  same  powers  and  authorities  therein  granted  and  the  same  duties  therein 
re<juired  of  the  several  officers  and  persons  elected  by  the  qualified  voters  of 
Dubois  and  other  counties  therein  named,  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  into 
effect  the  provisions  of  the  act  aforesaid,  according  to  the  true  intent  and 
meaning  thereof,  are  hereby  granted  to  and  required  to  the  officers,  and  other 
persons  elected  by  the  qualified  voters  of  Vermillion  county. 

"Section  8.  The  said  county  of  Vermillion  shall  have  both  civil  and 
criminal  jurisdiction  over  all  the  countr_\-  north  of  said  county,  which  is  or 
may  lie  included  in  ranges  9  and  10  west,  to  the  northern  boundary  of  the 

■'Section  9.  The  said  new  count}-  of  Vermillion  shall  l)e  attached  to  the 
counties  of  Parke  and  A^igo.  for  the  purpose  of  electing  representati\-es  to 
Congress,  and  to  the  same  senatorial  and  representative  districts  to  which 
said  counties  now  belong,  for  the  purpose  of  electing  senators  and  representa- 
ti\'es  to  the  General  Assembly,  and  to  the  first  return  district  for  the  purpose 
of  returning  votes  for  electors  of  President  and  Vice-President  of  the  United 

For  in  excess  of  one  year  Vermillion  county  thus  had  jurisdiction  over 
more  than  a  hundred  miles  of  country  north  and  south,  extending  to  Lake 
Michigan,  within  a  few  miles  from  the  modern  citv  of  Chicago. 


In  1824  the  county  seat  was  located  at  Newport,  where  it  has  always 
remained.  It  was  then  within  little  else  than  a  wilderness.  The  locating 
commissioners  were :  Robert  Sturgis,  Samuel  M.  Caldwell,  \\^illiam  Pugh 
and  William  Mcintosh,  of  adjoining  counties.  It  is  likely  that  a  fifth  com- 
missioner was  appointed,  but  did  not  serve  for  some  unknown  reason. 


It  is  likely  that  the  county  seat  was  located  at  Newport  on  account  of  its 
central  location,  and  also  on  account  of  the  immense  spring  that  gushed  forth 
from  the  earth  at  that  point.  Again,  there  was  located  a  grist  and  saw-mill  on 
Little  Vermillion  river,  and  the  people  donated  more  liberally  than  was  the 
case  in  other  parts  of  the  county. 

After  securing  a  seat  of  justice,  the  earliest  acts  of  the  county  commis- 
sioners were  recorded  in  a  home-made  book,  manufactured  for  the  purpose 
by  the  county  clerk.  It  was  left  where  mice  worked  and, much  of  the  records 
are  not  plainly  made  out.  In  March,  1882,  as  much  of  the  mutilated  book  as 
was  possible  was  carefully  transcribed  in  a  large  well-bound  book.  This 
transcript  begins  with  the  minutes  of  the  session  of  March,  1824,  the  year  in 
which  the  county  was  organized,  so  really  but  very  little  of  the  original  rec- 
ords have  been  lost.  The  first  session  was  held  at  the  house  of  James  Blair, 
situated  near  the  southeast  corner  of  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  16,  in 
township  16  north,  of  range  9  west.  That  was  on  the  west  side  of  the  old 
.wagon  road  leading  from  Eugene  to  Newport,  about  half  way  between  the 
two  towns. 

The  early  records  above  referred  to  included  the  following  paragraphs : 

"At  a  special  meeting  of  the  board  of  commissioners  of  Vermillion 
county,  begun  and  held  at  the  house  of  James  Blair,  on  Tuesday,  March  23, 
1824,  and  the  commissioners,  havitig  their  certificates  of  election  and  having 
taken  the  necessary  oath,  took  their  seats.  Commissioners  present,  John 
Haines,  Thomas  Durham  and  Isaac  Chambers. 

"First.  Ordered,  that  \\'illiam  W.  Kennedy  be  and  is  hereby  appointed 
clerk  of  the  board  of  commissioners  of  Vermillion  county  for  this  session. 

"Third.  Ordered,  that  all  that  part  of  the  county  of  Vermillion  con- 
tained in  the  following  bounds,  to-\vit:  Beginning  at  the  Wabash  river, 
where  the  line  dividing  townships  13  and  14  crosses  the  same,  thence  with  said 
line  to  the  line  dividing  the  states  of  Indiana  and  Illinois,  thence  north  to  the 
line  dividing  townships  14  and  15,  thence  east  with  said  line  to  the  \Valwsh 
ri\er.  thence  south  with  said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning,  shall  constitute 
the  ci\il  township  of  Clinton ;  and  that  the  election  in  said  township  be  held  in 
said  township  at  the  house  of  Jehn  Sargeant,  in  Clinton. 

"Fourth.  Ordered,  that  all  that  part  of  the  county  of  Vermillion  con- 
tained in  the  following  bounds,  to-wit ;  Beginning  at  the  Wabash  river  where 
the  line  1:ietween  townships  14  and  15  crosses  the  same,  thence  west  with  the 
said  line  to  the  center  of  township  16,  thence  east  with  said  central  line  to  the 
W'abash  river,  tlience  south  with  .said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning,  shall 


constilute  the  township  of  Helt,  and  that  elections  for  said  township  be  held 
at  the  house  of  John  \'an  Camp. 

"Fifth.  Ordered,  that  all  that  part  of  Vermillion  county,  contained  in 
the  following  bounds,  to-wit :  Beginning  at  the  Wabash  river  at  the  center  of 
township  16,  thence  west  with  said  central  line  to  the  line  di\'iding  the  states 
of  Indiana  and  Illinois,  thence  north  with  said  line  until  it  strikes  the  Big 
Vermillion  river,  thence  east  with  said  river  until  it  empties  into  the  Wabash, 
thence  south  with  said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning,  shall  constitute  the 
township  of  Vermillion,  and  that  elections  in  said  township  be  held  at  the 
school  house  in  section  i6,  in  township  i6. 

"Sixth.  Ordered,  that  all  that  part  of  Vermillion  county  contained  in 
the  following  bounds,  to-wit :  Beginning  at  the  Wabash  river  at  the  mouth 
of  Big  Vermillion  river,  thence  west  with  said  river  to  the  line  dividing  the 
states  of  Indiana  and  Illinois,  thence  north  with  said  line  dividing  townships 
19  and  20,  thence  east  with  said  line  to  the  Wabash  ri\-er  to  the  place  of  begin- 
ning, shall  constitute  the  township  of  Highland,  and  that  elections  be  lield 
in  that  township  at  the  house  of  Jacob  Andrick." 

Among  the  early  journal  entries  are  those  relating  to  the  appointment 
of  constables  for  the  following  townships :  Charles  Trowbridge,  for  Clinton 
township;  John  Harper,  for  Helt  township:  Jacob  Custer,  for  A'^ermillion 
township ;  George  Hansucker,  for  Highland  township.  All  the  abo\-e  \ito- 
ceedings  were  had  on  the  first  day  of  the  first  session  of  the  board  of  com- 

Clinton  and  Helt  tow?nships  remain  unchanged  to  this  da}-,  but  the  other 
two  townships  have  been  made  into  three  as  follows :  The  line  between  A^er- 
million  and  Eugene  townships  is  the  line  dividing  sections  19  and  30  of  sur- 
veyed township  17  north  and  10  west,  running  east  to  the  northeast  corner 
of  section  21,  township  17  north  and  range  9  west,  thence  north  a  half  mile, 
and  thence  east  to  the  river;  the  line  dividing  Eugene  and  Highland  townships 
is  the  line  dividing  sections  19  and  30  of  tow-nship  18  north  and  10  west,  run- 
ning east  to  the  river;  and  from  the  northern  side  of  Highland  township  has 
been  cut  of¥  one  tier  of  sections  of  congressional  township  19  north,  9  west, 
and  thrown  into  Warren  county. 

The  first  grand  jurors  in  A^ermillion  count}'  were  appointed  as  follows: 
David  W.  Arnold,  Horace  Luddington,  Rezin  Shelby.  Andrew  Thompson. 
John  Tipton,  William  Coffin,  John  Scott,  Jesse  Higgins.  Morgan  De  Puy, 
William  Hedges,  John  Vannest,  William  Boyles.  James  .Andrews.  James 
Harper,  Sr.,  and  James  Davis. 


The  iirst  petit  jury  was  composed  of  the  following  gentlemen:  Joel 
Dicken,  Robert  Elliott,  James  Groenendyke,  John  Thompson,  Simeon  Dicken, 
Isaac  Worth,  Lewis  Zebreskey,  Benjamin  Shaw,  Alexander  Bailey,  William 
Rice,  Harold  Hayes,  Amos  Reeder,  William  Hamilton,  John  Clover,  Ralph 
Wilson,  John  Winisett,  Abraham  Moore,  John  Maxadon,  Joseph  Dillow, 
Thomas  Alatheny,  John  E.  Anderson,  Obed  Blakesley,  John  Van  Camp  and 
Joshua  Skidmore. 

The  board  of  commissioners  appointed  "superintendents"  of  the  school 
sections ;  Harold  Hughes,  for  Clinton  township :  William  Bales,  for  Helt 
township;  James  Davis,  for  Vermillion  township;  William  Coffin,  for  that  in 
17  north,  9  west,  in  Highland  township;  Horace  Luddington  in  18  north, 
and  Jacob  Andrick  in  19,  also  in  Highland. 

The  first  overseers  of  the  poor  in  this  county  were:  John  Vannest,  for 
Clinton  township;  James  Andrews  and  .-Vugusus  Ford,  for  Helt;  Zeno  Worth 
and  John  Tipton,  for  Vermillion,  and  John  Haines  and  William  Gonger,  for 

John  Collett  was  appointed  "agent  for  laying  out  a  county  seat,"  and 
also  for  "selling  such  lots  as  were  donated  by  John  Justice  and  George  Miner 
for  the  use  of  the  county,  such  lands  as  were  by  them  donated  as  more  fully 
appears  by  their  bonds." 

Alexander  Bailey  was  appointed  the  first  collector  in  this  county.  "The 
County  Library  Fund"  was  in  charge  of  James  Blair,  but  such  librar}-,  with 
all  others  in  the  commonwealth,  was  abandoned. 

On  the  third  day  of  this  session  the  bills  of  the  sherift'  and  commissioners 
apijuinted  1)\^  the  state  government  to  locate  the  county  seat  were  audited  and 
ordered  paid.  William  Fulton  was  allowed  thirty-five  dollars  "as  a  sheriff 
in  organizing  the  county  of  Vermillion,"  and  also  two  dollars  and  fifty  cents 
for  olitaining  a  copy  of  the  laws  regulating  tlie  duties  of  the  office  of  sheriff' 
in  new  counties. 

jnlui  Collett  \vas  authorized  to  receive  a  deed  of  the  land  for  the  county 
seat  from  John  Justice,  Josephus  Collett  and  Stephen  Collett,  the  land  l)eiug 
"all  that  part  of  the  west  half  of  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  26,  in  town- 
ship 17  north,  of  range  9  west,  which  may  be  south  of  the  Little  Vennillion 
creek  should  the  same  contain  more  or  less." 

The  Mav,  1824,  session  of  the  board  of  commissioners  met  at  the  house 
of  Tames  Blair,  but  at  once  adjourned  to  the  house  of  Josephus  Collett,  at 
Vermillion  Mills.  At  this  place  Mr.  Haines  did  not  appear.  The  other  two 
commissioners  decreed  that  ferrv  licenses  be  seven  dollars;  "that  the  clerk 


list  all  property  liable  to  taxation  for  county  purposes  to  the  full  amount 
allowed  by  law.'"  The  rate  of  tavern  license  was  fixed  at  five  dollars.  The 
board  entered  an  order  that  the  seat  of  justice  should  be  known  as  "the  town 
of  Newport."  It  was  also  ordered  that  the  lots  in  said  town  be  laid  of¥  ac- 
cording to  the  following  form,  viz :  Lots,  sixty-six  feet  in  front  and  one  hun- 
dred and  eighty-one  feet  in  depth. 

The  board  divided  the  county  into  thirteen  road  districts,  and  tlie  same 
were  supplied  by  supervisors  through  appointment. 

James  Blair  was  permitted  to  operate  a  ferry  at  Perrysville,  and  the  rate 
of  crossing  was  fixed  by  the  county  board  as  follows  :  Wagon  and  five  horses, 
seventy-five  cents ;  wagon  and  four  horses,  sixty-two  and  a  half  cents ;  wagon 
and  three  horses,  fifty  cents ;  wagon  and  two  horses,  three  shillings ;  man  and 
one  horse,  one  shilling;  pedestrian,  six  and  a  fourth  cents:  neat  cattle,  four 
cents  a  head ;  hogs  and  sheep  two  cents  a  head. 

•Vt  a  point  two  miles  north  of  Newport,  John  Gardner  \\as  authorized 
to  operate  a  ferry  across  the  Wabash. 

During  the  first  year  of  the  county's  history  the  board  of  countv  com- 
missioners placed  a  license  of  ten  dollars  as  a  license  to  vend  foreign  merchan- 
dise for  the  remaining  portion  of  the  year  1824.  This  was  the  first  "protective 
tarifif"  heard  of  in  Vermillion  county. 

With  the  machinery  set  in  motion,  the  newly  organized  county  soon 
began  to  build  for  the  future.  Public  buildings  had  to  be  constructed  and 
roads  and  bridges  made.  Taxes  had  to  be  levied  and  collected,  all  of  which 
kept  the  commissioners  quite  busilv  engaged  for  a  number  of  years. 


Vermillion  county  has  had  the  following  public  buildings  erected  for  its 

At  the  June,  1824,  session  the  county  commissioners  ordered  a  contract 
to  be  let  for  the  building  of  a  court  house  of  the  following  description: 
Thirty-six  feet  in  length  and  twenty- four  feet  in  depth :  containing  two  jury 
rooms,  to  be  furnished  with  a  window  of  fifteen  lights  and  a  door  opening 
from  each  into  the  court  room ;  the  latter  to  have  eight  feet  for  a  ]oassage  be- 
tween it  and  the  jury  room :  balance  of  sixteen  feet  to  be  finished,  laid  ofif  and 
worked  in  a  semi-circular  form,  in  a  workmanlike  manner:  with  seats  for  the 
judges,  bar  and  jury :  with  banisters  to  separate  the  said  court  and  jury  rooms, 
eight  feet  one  from  the  other  across  said  court  house,  at  the  distance  of  eight 


feet  from  said  jur)-  rooms,  except  so  much  as  may  be  necessary  for  the  ad- 
mission of  persons  in  and  to  the  bar  and  court,  which  said  space  is  not  to 
exceed  three  feet ;  and  the  said  court  room  is  to  be  furnished  with  three  win- 
dows of  fifteen  Hghts  each,  and  two  good  doors.  Said  building  is  to  be  erected 
on  the  southeast  corner  of  the  pubUc  square,  of  good  substantial  frame  of  a 
ten-foot  story  covered  with  joint  shingles;  and  said  frame  to  be  settled  on  a 
sulficient  number  of  eighteen  inch  blocks  two  feet  long." 

June  24,  1824,  the  board  of  commissioners  met  and  awarded  the  contract 
for  building  the  above  described  court  house,  for  three  hundred  and  forty-five 
dollars,  the  structure  to  be  completed  by  the  first  of  the  following  November. 

Although  the  commissioners  refused  to  accept  the  building  when  said  by 
the  contractor  to  be  completed,  it  was  used  for  courts  and  other  public  meet- 
ings of  all  kinds  until  another  was  erected  of  brick.  The  contractor  was 
John  Justice,  to  whom  the  county  paid  a  part  of  the  contract  price,  and  he 
sued  the  county  for  the  balance,  and  finally  recovered  the  full  amount,  the 
supreme  court  ordering  the  county  to  pay  in  full,  with  the  costs  in  the  pro- 

In  the  month  of  February,  183 1,  the  county  commissioners  obtained 
plans  for  another  court  house,  and  advertised  for  proposals  for  furnishing  the 
material  with  Avhich  to  build  it.  James  Skinner,  being  the  lowest  responsible 
bidder,  was  awarded  the  contract  for  furnishing  the  brick  at  three  dollars  and 
fifty  cents  per  thousand,  and  Stephen  B.  Gardner  was  promised  two  dollars 
and  fifty  cents  a  perch  for  the  stone.  Other  material  was  contracted  for,  and 
the  court  house  was  completed  under  the  immediate  supervision  of  the  county 
commissioners,  and  was  occupied  until  January  29,  1844,  when,  at  eleven 
o'clock  in  the  forenoon,  it  was  partly  destroyed  by  fire.  The  board  met  im- 
mediately and  ordered  the  necessary  repairs  made.  With  the  re-building  and 
repairs  thus  made  the  structure  served  the  county  until  1868,  when  another 
court  house  was  found  necessary  for  the  protection  of  the  records  and  the 
transaction  of  the  county's  increasing  business.  Its  cost  was  thirty  thousand 
dollars.  To  this  was  added  a  wingon  the  west,  in  1903,  costing  the  county 
•  twenty-eight  thousand  dollars  more  ,and  this  re-built  structure  is  the  present 
court  house,  which  is  a  good  brick  building,  of  handsome  proportions. 

In  July,  1910,  the  belfry  of  the  court  house  was  struck  l)y  lightning, 
causing  a  loss  of  fifty  dollars,  which  was  made  good  by  the  insurance  carried 
bv  the  countv. 

-  --  «■  -  ^ 






In  June,  1828,  four  years  after  the  organization  of  the  county,  the  com- 
missioners let  the  contract  for  the  erection  of  the  first  jail  in  Vermillion  county, 
the  same  being  sixteen  by  eighteen  feet  in  size,  two  stories  high,  of  hewed 
timbers,  with  a  partition  of  twelve  feet  for  ''debtors  and  criminals"  room, 
lower  story  eight  and  a  half  feet  in  the  clear,  upper  story  eight  feet,  with 
partition  as  below,  to  be  built  of  double  timbers,  eight  by  ten  inches  thick,  or 
wider  if  convenient;  roof  to  be  of  joint  shingles,  etc.,  etc.  Samuel  Hedges 
was  the  contractor,  and  the  contract  price  was  three  hundred  and  sixty-nine 

In  connection  with  the  same  building  was  to  be  a  clerk's  room,  fourteen 
by  sixteen  feet,  one  story  high,  nine  feet  in  the  clear,  two  fifteen-light  win- 
dows, one  door,  etc.  For  this  room,  Mr.  Hedges  was  to  be  paid  one  hundred 
and  sixteen  dollars.  Both  structures  were  completed  on  time  and  no  difficulty 
arose  between  contractor  and  commissioners. 

The  present  fine  county  jail,  situated  two  squares  to  the  east  of  the  court 
house,  is  a  combination  of  brick  and  stone.  The  brick  portion,  on  the  south, 
was  a  part  of  the  jail  built  many  years  ago,  and  is  now  the  sheriff's  residence, 
while  the  main  structure  is  of  the  finest  grade  of  stone,  cut  and  laid  in  an  ex- 
cellent manner.  The  jail  proper  was  erected  in  the  nineties  at  a  cost  of 
fifteen  thousand  dollars.  On  the  site  of  this  building  was  the  old  jail  in  which 
was  hanged  the  only  man  ever  legally  executed  within  Vermillion  county. 
This  was  in  1879  and  is  mentioned  elsewhere. 


Vermillion  county  has  always  been  mindful  of  its  unfortunate  poor  and 
at  a  very  early  date  in  its  history  provided  a  poor  farm,  which  is  still  the  com- 
fortable home  of  this  class.  The  land  comprising  this  farm^ — a  quarter  sec- 
tion, two  miles  south  of  Newport — was  first  entered  by  Wilbur  and  Davis 
from  the  government  and  comprises  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  3,  town- 
ship 16,  range  9.  Later  Peter  Smith  became  the  owner,  and  upon  it  as  secur- 
ity he  borrowed  a  certain  sum  of  money  from  the  county:  failing  to  pay,  the 
land  re\'erted  to  the  county,  and  after  a  short  time  the  authorities  converted 
it  into  a  poor  farm  upon  which  rude  buildings  were  erected.  These  buildings 
on  land  worth  thirty-five  dollars  per  acre  in  1886.  became  worthless,  and  in 
1887  Vermillion  countv  erected  a  splendid,  up-to-date  countv  infirmarv,  cost- 


ing  almost  sixteen  thousand  dollars.  It  included  a  department  for  the  insane. 
The  structure  was  erected  two  stories  high,  with  a  basement  under  the  whole 
area,  which  was  forty  by  one  hundred  and  eight  feet.  The  original  building, 
as  completed  in  1887-88,  had  thirty-two  rooms  for  inmates,  six  of  which  were 
planned  for  the  insane  subjects ;  five  rooms  were  set  apart  for  the  use  of  the 
superintendent  and  his  family.  This  building  was  constructed  by  Moore  & 
McCoy  of  Danville,  Illinois.  In  1887  the  reports  show  that  the  average  num- 
ber of  inmates  was  about  twenty.  Joseph  Conrad,  who  was  made  superin- 
tendent in  the  spring  of  1881,  at  a  salary  of  six  hundred  dollars  per  year, 
served  for  many  years. 

Since  then  many  additions  and  impro\-ements  ha-\e  been  made  on  the 
premises.  The  superintendent's  report  to  the  county  authorities  in  1912 
show  that  there  were  then  twenty-six  males  and  fourteen  females  at  this 
humane  institution.     The  superintendent  was  Grant  Knight. 


Vermillion  county  was  the  victim  of  a  bold  robbery  on  Monday  night, 
April  18,  1870,  and  the  Hoosicr  State,  published  at  Newport,  had  the  follow- 
ing account  of  the  afifair,  at  the  time : 

Over  thirty-five  thousand  dollars  was  stolen  from  the  county  treasury 
vault,  which  had  been  faithfully  closed  and  locked  by  Treasurer  S.  B.  Davis, 
w  ho  later  became  famous  as  the  editor  of  the  paper  above  named. 

The  doors  were  forced  open  liy  steel  wedges,  which  were  driven  by  a 
sledge.  Neighbors  heard  the  noise,  but  not  distinctly  enough  to  have  their 
suspicions  aroused. 

The  next  da)-  Orville  White,  who  had  just  learned  of  the  l)urglary,  saw 
two  men  carrying  a  satchel  across  the  farms  about  three  miles  north  of  Clinton. 
Calling  two  railroad  hands  to  his  assistance,  they  gave  chase,  calling  upon  the 
suspected  fugitives  to  halt.  They  struck  for  the  river,  and  leaving  a  portion 
of  their  clothing  up  the  bank,  began  to  swim  across.  ]Mr.  White  and  his 
companions  arriving,  saw  a  farmer  on  the  opposite  side  whom  they  knew,  and 
hallowed  to  him  to  kill  the  rascals.  Getting  into  shallow  water,  they  drew 
their  revolvers  and  fired  at  him,  '\\v.  White  then  recjuested  his  assistant  to 
watch  the  thieves  until  he  could  raise  a  posse  to  take  them.  Discovering  a 
wallet  in  the  river,  Mr.  White  waded  in  and  obtained  it,  and  found  it  con- 
tained $16,354.  He  then  went  home,  mounted  a  horse  and  started  for  Clinton 
to  raise  a  posse;  but  in  the  meantime  the  scoundrels  reached  the  opposite 
shore,  a  mile  below  where  thev  entered  the  stream,  soon  found  two  railroad 


hands,  and  drew  their  re\-oh-ers  upon  them,  commanding  them  to  give  up 
their  clothing  in  great  haste,  as  the)'  "had  got  into  a  row  and  had  to  swim  the 
river  to  save  their  hves."  Returning  to  the  river,  they  got  into  a  skiff  and 
floated  down  past  CHnton  under  cover  of  the  night,  and  thus  succeeded  in 
getting  avi^ay. 

It  is  thought  that  very  skillful  burglars  must  have  pulled  off  this  job. 
The  following  day,  Mr.  \\'hite  learned  that  one  of  the  assistants,  whom  he 
had  hastily  picked  up  from  out  a  company  of  railroad  men,  near  bv,  was  the 
receiver  of  a  large  amount  of  money  at  tliat  time,  but  was  not  present  at  the 

On  May  13th,  $5,210  more  of  the  county's  money  was  found  in  a  satchel 
lodged  on  the  roots  of  a  cottonwood  a  mile  and  a  half  below  where  tlie  thieves 
commenced  to  swim  the  ri\-er.     $15,320  was  ne\er  found. 


The  subjoined  was  the  assessed  valuations  in  the  various  townships  and 
corporations  in  Vermillion  county  in  191 1  : 

Highland   township $2,465,030     Dana    (corporation)    $    486,395 

Eugene  township 1,376,085  Fairview    Park     (corpora- 

Vermillion   township 1.940,000         tion)    110,140 

Helt   township    3,202,720     Clinton  City 1,882.730 

Clinton  township   1,959,605 

Cayuga  (corporation) 363,820 

Newport   fcorporation)   __      402,720  Total    $14,189,645' 


From  the  county  commissioners'  report  of  the  finances  of  Vermillion 
county  for  the  period  between  January  i,  191 1,  and  that  of  January  i,  1912, 
the  following  is  extracted : 


Balances  on  hand  January  i,  191 1,  and  receipts  from  January  i,  191 1, 
to  January  i,  1912,  $503,600.  Balance  on  hand  in  net  cash,  January  i,  1912, 


For  the  year  ending  January  i,  1912,  the  county  officials  made  the  fol- 
lowing exhibit  (H.  T.  Payne,  auditor)  : 



Balance  on  hand  Jan.   i,   191 1 $18,644.68 

Treas.  percentage  and  mileage 686.89 

Township  poor   7,031.44 

Proceeds — poor  asylum   1,005.38 

Pub.  printing  and  adv.    26.80 

Board  miners'  examiners 3,068.00 

Change  of  venue   248.50 

Special   judges    165.00 

Jury   fees   3.37 

Int.    from   depositories   2,434.29 

County   tax    52,894.24 

Miscellaneous     2,281.57 

Clerk's    fees   2,136.36 

Auditor's   fees _ 437-25 

Sheriff's  fees 400.28 

Recorder's   fees   2,431.85 

Total $93,895.90 


Expense  Circuit  Clerk's  office $  2,366.58 

Exp.   County  Auditor's  office   3,544.94 

Exp.  County  Treasurer's  office 4,039.08 

Exp.  County  Recorder's  office i. 719-33 

Exp.   County  Sheriff's  office 3,036.00 

Exp.   County  Surveyor's  office 356.80 

Co.   Supt.   and  Teacher's  Inst 1,892.99 

County  Assessor's  office 789.86 

Coroner's  inquests 39^-45 

County  Health  Commissioner 614.98 

County  Commissioners'  exp.  636.20 

County  Council,  Pauper  and  County  Attorneys 772.00 

Board  of  Review  301.50 

Board  of  Truancy   222.75 

Assessing   2.616.00 

Township  poor   5,004.78 

Court    house    1,484.04 


County  jail        975-49 

County  poor  asylum 4,918.58 

Orphan  poor   2.484.25 

Benevolent  institutions 407.19 

Insanity  inquests 820.69 

Elections : 5.45 

Soldier  burials 500.00 

Public   printing   812.85 

Roads  and  highways   50.75 

Returning  fines   17.00 

Bridge  supt.  and  engineer 114.00 

Deficiency  in  school  funds 1,332.47 

Expense  of  game  warden 6.00 

Board  of  miner's  examiners 919-75 

Taxes  refunded 86.87 

Examination  of  public  records   '. 338.30 

Bridge  repairs   8,768.71 

Change  of  venue 1,141.90 

Special  judges 165.00 

Jurors — petit  and  grand 1,726.53 

Official    reporter    3i7-'8o 

Bailiffs    451-50 

Board  of  children's  guardians 59-75 

Juvenile  court   444.79 

Expense  of  court  room 147-75 

Criminal   expense    §5-43 

County   bonds    2,800.00 

Cash  on  hand  33,200.82 

Total     $93,895.90 



As  far  as  can  now  be  gleaned  from  the  county  records  and  state  publica- 
tions, the  following  is  a  list  of  those  who  have  served  as  county  officials  in 
Vermillion  county  from  the  date  of  its  organization  to  and  including  1912 
(dates  given  show  when  they  were  elected  to  office)  : 

February  i,  1824 — William  Fulton. 
September  8,  1825 — Caleb  Bales. 
August  14,  1828 — Charles  Trowbridge. 
August  28,  1832 — William  Craig. 
August  16,  1834 — Allen  Stroud. 
August  13,  1838 — William  Bales. 
August  8,  1842 — Charles  Trowbridge. 
August  20,  1848 — Owen  Craig. 
August  25,  1848 — -Eli  Newlin. 
August  12,  1852 — Richard  Potts. 
November  18,  1856— James  H.  Weller. 
November  18,  i860 — Isaac  Porter. 
November  18,  1864 — Harvey  D.  Crane. 
November  18,  1868 — Jacob  S.  Stephens. 
November  18,  1872 — Lewis  H.  Beckman. 
November  18,  1876 — Spencer  H.  Dallas. 
November  18,  1880 — William  C.  Myers. 
November  18,  1884 — John  A.  Darby. 
November,   1888— William  Rheuby. 
November,   1890 — Michael  Maher. 
November,  1892 — Josephus  C.  Dillow. 
November,  1894 — John  M.  Roberts. 
November,  1896 — John  M.  Roberts. 
November,  1900 — James  A.  Swayne. 
November,  1904 — J.  H.  Stephens. 


November,  1906 — Robert  J.  Hasty. 
November,  1908 — Morton  Hollingsworth. 
November,  1910 — Steve  McCown. 
November,  19 12 — Steve  McCown. 


April,  1824 — James  Thompson  (declined  to  serve). 

September,  8,  1824 — William  Kennedy  (died  in  office). 

August  29,  1826 — James  T.  Pendleton. 

August  27,  1827 — Stephen  B.  Gardner. 

June  8,  1833— John  W.  Rush. 

April  22,  1838 — Alexander  B.  Florer. 

By  the  provisions  of  the  new  state  law,  the  offices  of  recorder  and  clerk, 
which  had,  prior  to  1852,  been  a  combined  office,  were  at  that  date  changed, 
making  two  separate  offices.     After  this  change  the  recorders  were : 

April  22,  1852 — Alexander  B.  Florer. 
November  2,  1861 — Andrew  F.  Adams. 
November  2,  1865 — Robert  E.  Stephens. 
November  2,  1874 — Jacob  A.  Souders. 
October  26,  1878 — Cornelius  S.  Davis. 
November  13,  1886 — Melville  B.  Carter. 
November,  1890 — John  B.  Groves. 
November,  1894 — George  H.  Fisher. 
November,  1898 — George  H.  Fisher. 
November,  1902 — Albert  K.  Mahan. 
November,   1906 — ^J.  S.  Stephens. 
November,  1910 — Frank  Johnson 


The  offices  of  county  clerk  and  recorder  were  one  and  the  same  until 
1852,  after  which  they  were  separate  offices — see  above  for  the  men  who  held 
the  combined  offices  as  far  as  is  shown  now  by  records. 

April  22,  1852— James  A.  Bell. 
April  22,  i860 — William  E.  Lixengood. 
April  22,  1868— James  A.  Bell. 
April  22.  1872 — William  Gibson. 


April  22,  1880 — James  Roberts. 
April  22,  1884— Alfred  R.  Hopkins. 
November,  1886— Alfred  R.  Hopkins. 
November,  1890 — John  T.  Lowe. 
November,  1894 — James  C.  Crane. 
November,  1898— William  F.  Wells. 
November,  1902 — William  F.  Wells. 
November,  1906 — John  A.  Hughes. 
November,  1910 — JManford  C.  Jones. 


The  list  is  not  complete  from  the  first  to  1852,  hence  will  not  be  given 
down  to  that  date. 

November  2t,.  1852 — ^Villiam  Utter. 
November  23,  1854 — George  H.  Sears. 
November  23,  1856 — George  W.  English. 
November  2},.  i860 — ^James  A.  Poland. 
November  23,  1864 — James  A.  Bell. 
November  23,   1865 — Samuel  B.  Davis. 
November  23,   1870 — James  A.  Poland. 
November '23,   1874 — James  Osborne. 
November  23,    1876 — John  H.  Bogart. 
November  23,    1880 — Henry  O.  Peters. 
November  23,   1884 — William  L.  Porter. 
November,   1886 — William  L.  Porter. 
November,   1888— ^^'illiam  B.  Hood. 
November,   1890 — Peter  Aikman. 
November,    1892 — Peter  Aikman. 
November,   1894 — Edward  B.  Brown. 
November,   1896 — Edward  B.  Brown. 
November,   1898 — M.  G.  Hosford. 
November,   1900 — M.  G.  Hosford. 
No\ember,   1902 — H.  R.  Southard. 
November,   1904 — H.  R.  Southard. 
November,   1906 — Albert  K.  Mahan. 
November,   1908 — John  A.  Hughes. 
November,   1910 — Andrew  J.  Huxford. 
November,   1912 — Andrew  J.  Huxford. 



August  30,  1854 — Da\-id  Shelby. 
June  7,  1856 — Heniy  D.  Washburn. 
November   i8,   i860 — George  W.  English. 
November  18,    1864 — James  Tarrence. 
November  18,   1872 — Thomas  Cushman. 
November   18,   iSSc^Elias  Pritchard. 
November,   1884 — Elias  Pritchard. 
November,    1888 — ^Villiam  M.  Hamilton. 
November,   1892 — ^^'illiam  M.  Hamilton. 
November,   1896 — William  P.  Bell. 
November,   1900 — William  P.  Bell. 
November,   1904 — H,  T.  Payne. 
November,   1908 — H.  T.  Payne. 
November,   1912 — Roy  Slater. 


March  6,  1824 — Greenup  Castleman. 
November  11,  1826 — James  Osbom. 
August  30,  1854 — John  Collett. 
November   18,   1856 — Edward  Griffin. 
November  2,    1857 — John  Fleming. 
November  2,   1859 — David  Shelby. 
November  2,   i860 — B.  E.  Rhoades. 
November  2,   1861 — Daniel  Shelby. 
No\'ember  7,   1862 — ^James  M.  Lacy. 
November  7,   1863 — Buskin  E.  Rhoades. 
No\-ember  7,  1864 — John  Davis. 
October  28,  1865— Martin  G.  Rhoades. 
October  26,  1870 — William  F.  Henderson. 
October  30,  1872 — John  Henderson. 
October  30,  1874 — Richard  Henderson. 
October  30,  1876 — John  Henderson. 
October  30,  1878 — Piatt  Z,  Anderson. 
November  13,  1884 — Fred  Rush. 
November,  1886— Fred  Rush. 
November,  1888— R.  A.  Parrett. 


November,  1890 — R.  A.  Parrett. 
November,  1892 — R.  A.  Parrett. 
November,  1894 — R.  A.  Parrett. 
November,  1896 — Fred  Beard. 
November,  1898 — Fred  Beard. 
November,  1900 — Robert  Barnes. 
November,  1902 — Oscar  T.  Zell. 
November,  1904 — Carl  H.  Conley. 
November,  1906 — James  W.  Thomas. 
November,  1908 — Howard  Zell. 
November,  1912 — John  H.  Boe. 


September  8,  1824 — Matthew  Stokes. 
August  29,  1826 — Carter  Hollingsworth. 
August   14,   1828 — Matthew  Stokes. 
August  28,  1832 — Edward  Marlow. 
August  16,  1834 — Matthew  Stokes. 
August  18,  1835 — Peter  J.  Vandever. 
August  9,  1836 — Alfred  T.  Duncan. 
August  14,  1837 — William  Malone. 
August  10,  1841 — Leonard  P.  Coleman. 
August  8.  1842 — William  Malone. 
August  23,  1844- — Durham  Hood. 
August  25,  1848 — Daniel  C.  Sanders. 
August  23,  1850 — Joseph  E.  Hepner. 
August  12,  1852 — Andrew  Dennis. 
August  30,  1854 — ^John  Vanduyn. 
November  18,  1856— Robert  Elliott. 
November  2,  1857 — David  Smith. 
November  18,  1858 — George  Luellen. 
November  2,  1861 — John  L.  Howard. 
October  30,  1868 — R.  Harlow  Washburn. 
October  30,  1870 — Thomas  Brindley. 
October  30,  1880 — Hezekiah  Casebeer. 
October  30,  1882 — Thomas  Brindley. 
November,  1884 — Thomas  Brindley. 
November,  1886 — Thomas  Brindlev. 


November,  1888 — Thomas  Pirindle)-. 
November,   1890 — Thomas  Brindley. 
November,   1892 — Thomas  Brindley. 
November,  1894 — Robert  J.  Hasty. 
November,  1896 — Robert  J.  Hasty. 
November,  1898 — Robert  J.  Hasty. 
November,  1900 — RoI)ert  J.  Hasty. 
November,  1902 — Robert  J.  Hasty. 
November,  1904 — Robert  J.  Hasty. 
November,  1906 — Carl  H.  Conley. 
November,  1908— George  W.  Wells. 
November,  1910 — Isaac  D.  White. 
November,  1912 — Isaac  D.  White. 


This  office  was  abolished  by  the  code  of  1852.     The  following  were  the 
associate  judges  down  to  the  date  of  the  doing  away  with  the  office : 
April  22.  1824 — ^_Iacob  .Vndrick. 
February  4,   1828 — Christian  Zabrisky. 
August  14,  1828 — Joseph  Hain  (resigned). 
April  22,  1 83 1 — John  Porter. 
August  19,  1831 — Alexander  Morehead. 
March  4,  1835 — Matthew  Stokes  (resigned). 
August  18,  1835 — Robert  G.  Roberts. 
July  II,  1836 — Charles  Johnston. 
August  9,  1836 — Joseph  Shaw. 
April  22,  1838 — Alexander  Morehead  (resigned). 
August  27,  1838 — Joel  Hume  (resigned). 
August  II,  1840 — Ashley  Harris. 

August  II,  1840 — Eli  Brown  (removed  from  county). 
October  17,  1842 — James  M.  Morris. 


This  office  was  abolished  with  the  incoming  of  the  1852  code  in  Indiana. 
Those  who  served  while  the  office  existed  were : 
August  14,  1829 — Asaph  Hill. 
January  8,  1833 — John  W.  Rush  (resigned). 
May  6,  1833— Rezin  Shelby. 
August  19,  1847 — Francis  Chenoweth. 



Vermillion  county  was  not  settled  until  after  the  war  of  1812  with  Great 
Britain,  hence  had  no  part  in  that  last  conflict  with  the  mother  country.  It 
had  a  few  soldiers  in  the  war  \\ith  Mexico  from  1846  to  1848,  but  no  regular 
organization  from  this  county.  The  few  who  went  from  Vermillion  county 
have  long  since  been  numbered  with  the  dead.  When  the  Spanish-. \nierican 
war  came  on  in  1898,  this  county  had  no  regular  National  Guard  company, 
hence  had  no  regular  company  in  that  decisive  war  with  Spain.  This  leaves 
the  military  history  of  the  county  in  that  long-drawn-out  struggle  for  the 
preservation  of  the  Union — the  Civil  war, — and  in  this  the  county  sent  forth 
her  full  share  of  brave  defenders.  Many  returned  and  many  sleej)  beneath  the 
Southern  skies.  Vermillion  county  may  well  be  proud  of  its  Civil  war  record, 
both  as  to  the  volunteers  it  sent  to  the  front  and  the  amount  of  money  it  fur- 
nished for  the  support  of  the  families  of  soldiers,  etc.  To  not  have  been  loyal 
to  the  flag,  here,  was  to  be  disgraced. 


The  days  just  before  the  civil  conflict  came  on  were  thrilling  times,  and 
no  better  index  can  be  given  here  than  to  c]uote  from  the  article  written  in  the 
Saturday  Argus  of  Clinton,  by  L.  O.  Bishop,  giving  his  own  observations  of 
those  perilous  days.     He  says  : 

Our  home  seemed  to  be  the  storm  center  of  the  then  hated  abolition  move- 
ment. "Uncle  Tom's  Cabin,"  Helper's  "Crisis,"  Horace  Greeley's  Nezv  York 
Tribune,  William  Lloyd  Garrison's  Liberator,  stories  of  the  Revolution  and 
such  literature  made  up  much  if  not  all  of  the  inspiration  of  the  family  circle. 
My  grandparents,  Hiram  and  Sabrina  Bishop,  and  father,  Francis  Marion, 
were  of  New  Hampshire  and  Massachusetts  birth,  and  we  all  had  indoctrinated 
in  us  a  radical  belief  in  liberty  and  hatred  of  all  forms  of  injustice,  of  wrong 
by  the  strong  upon  the  weak,  and  of  slavery  especially. 

On  mother's  side  of  the  family  origin  began  in  Ireland,  and  all  her  tradi- 
tions and  sympathies  were  against  slavery  and  oppression.  And  right  here  I 
will  relate  an  incident  that  occurred  at  the  then  thriving  town  of  Perrys\ille. 


Aly  mother,  who  had  come  from  Virginia  before  1858,  was  making  her  home 
with  the  family  of  Ii'a  Abdill.  Now  Mr.  and  Mrs.  x\bdill  were  ardent  church 
members,  and  they  were  rigid  in  their  adherence  to  church  laws.  If  there 
was  any  one  act  that  was  unpardonable  sin,  an  act  that  would  eternally  damn 
the  human  soul,  it  was  novel  reading.  Some  one  tried  to  lead  my  mother  away 
from  the  straight  and  narrow  way  by  placing  in  her  hands  a  copy  of  "Uncle 
Tom's  Cabin."  In  the  girlish  innocence  of  her  heart  she  saw  no  harm  in 
reading  that  "Life  Among  the  Lowly,"  and  finally  became  so  deeply  inter- 
ested in  the  story  that  one  Sunday  she  sat  and  read  past  the  dinner  hour, 
utterly  oblivious  of  the  flight  of  time.  Finally  the  good  old  mistress  of  the 
house  broke  into  the  room  with  the  exclamation :  "Why,  Lin,  what  are  you 
reading  that  holds  you  so  ?  Don't  you  know  it  is  dinner  time  ?  Some  trashy- 
novel  I  swan!"     Mother  laid  the  book  down  on  the  bed  and  flew  to  her  work. 

Mrs.  Abdill,  thinking  she  would  just  exercise  authority  over  the  character 
of  the  literature  that  came  into  her  house,  picked  up  the  book  in  a  gingerly 
way  and  began  to  turn  the  pages  as  though  it  were  a  message  from  Belzebub 
himself.  Then  she  opened  it  at  the  title  page  and  gave  it  a  disdainful  glance. 
She  turned  to  the  opening  chapter  and  out  of  her  curiosit\-  began  to  peruse  the 
lines  in  order  to  get  some  excuse  to  condemn  the  work. 

She  came  to  the  heart-breaking  scene  of  Eliza  stealing  through  the  dark- 
ness to  the  humble  cabin  of  Uncle  Tom  to  inform  him  that  they  had  lieen  sold 
and  she  was  going  to  run  aw  ay  with  her  little  babe.  Thai  was  too  much  for 
the  good  old  mother  in  Israel.  Then  she  read  the  second  chapter,  and  man- 
aged to  get  through  the  third  safely,  and  the  worst  thing  that  happened  to 
her  was  an  aching  heart  and  moistened  eyes.  And  somehow  she  just  wanted 
to  know  what  was  in  the  fourth  chapter.  And  she  read  on  and  on  and  on. 
She  forgot  all  care,  all  household  labors,  all  religious  rites  and  evening  found 
the  face  of  that  dear  old  soul  fairly  glued  to  the  thrilling  pages  of  a  story  told 
by  a  woman  that  was  setting  the  heads  of  the  nations  athrill  with  an  abhorrence 
of  sla\ery.  And  then  Mr.  Abdill,  stern  and  firm  in  his  convictions  of  religious 
duty,  unbent  somewhat.  He,  too,  began  to  read  the  story.  Finally  it  got 
such  a  grip  on  him  that  he  took  "Uncle  Tom's  Cabin"  to  bed  with  him  and 
just  lay  there  and  read  and  read  and  burned  the  midnight  oil  until  the  wee 
sma'  hours. 

But  when  at  last  that  family  had  finished  the  story  of  "Uncle  Tom's 
Cabin"  there  was  a  changed  tone  in  another  home.  A  woman's  hand  had  done 
the  work.  Perrysville  felt  the  electric  thrill,  as  was  shown  a  few  years  later 
when  the  very  flower  of  her  manhood  marched  awa)-  amid  waving  flags  and 
.shouting  multitudes  in  response  to  the  President's  call.      I  only  mention  this 


incident  to  show  how  the  quiet  forces  of  God  work  in  places  and  in  ways  un- 
seen and  unknown  of  men,  to  prepare  the  wa}-  for  the  advancement  of  still 
greater  things. 

That  work  of  Mrs.  Harriet  Beecher  Stowe  set  the  world  ablaze  with 
hatred  of  human  slaver)-.  Everj'body  in  the  Wabash  valley  read  it,  or  read 
about  it.  Its  influence  was  subtle,  but  permanent.  All  those  earlier  years 
the  agitation  against  human  slavery  had  been  pushed  throughout  the  North 
with  all  the  vigor  of  crusaders.  The  wave  struck  Clinton.  Big,  impetuous, 
sympathetic  Hiram  Bishop  one  day  proclaimed  upon  Main  street  that  from 
that  moment  on,  he  was  for  the  abolition  of  slaver)-.  The  immediate  provo- 
cation for  the  exclamation  was  the  story  of  a  sla\'e-power  outrage  upon  free- 
speech.  The  scandal  spread  like  wild-fire  all  over  the  country.  There  lived 
here  in  Qinton  a  harness-maker,  another  old  Easterner,  named  John  Cowgill. 
He  heard  the  awful  story  that  a  man  in  Clinton  had  come  out  for  abolition. 

Cowgill  never  stopped  for  a  second  to  take  thought  as  to  whether  it  would 
be  .safe,  but  instantly  blurted  out  that  "Here  is  another  one  of  those  d — d 
black  abolitionists."  Cowgill's  endorsement  of  the  unpopular  idea  only  added 
fuel  to  the  flames,  and  there  burst  forth  a  storm  of  wrath  against  the  two  men 
such  as  they  did  not  forsee. 

"What!"  cried  a  pro-slaveryite  to  my  grandfather  one  da)-,  "do  you  want 
to  free  the  millions  of  niggers  in  the  South,  and  have  them  coming  up  here 
into  the  North  and  competing  with  honest  men  for  jobs.  Do  you  want  your 
daughter  to  marr)^  a  nigger?    Shame  on  you  for  such  scandalous  sentiment." 

But  the  storm  of  anger  kept  rising  and  growing  hotter  and  hotter.  And 
then  one  day  grandfather  Bishop  came  home  in  great  trepidation.  He  was 
deeply  stirred  and  uneasy.  Something  had  gone  wrong.  Finally  the  family 
was  informed  that  he  had  been  notified  that  he  and  John  Cowgill  were  to  be 
hung  as  "black  abolitionists."  The  threat  stirred  up  a  hornet's  nest  in  the 
village  of  Clinton  and  one  dark  night  a  posse  of  men  gathered  with  ropes  and 
went  out  to  hunt  up  John  Cowgill  and  Hiram  Bishop  and  hang  them  to  the 
first  tree  they  could  find.  At  the  same  time  another  company  of  men  got 
together  and  sent  the  "Regulators"  sharp  notice  that  the  moment  they  began 
the  hanging  business  there  would  be  such  a  demand  for  ropes  and  trees  that 
the  supply  would  soon  be  exhausted.  The  real  sentiment  of  the  jieople  had 
crystallized  and  taken  on  definite,  defiant  form  and  stood  between  two  homes 
and  the  agents  of  an  angered  aristocracy  that  was  then  feeling  the  terrific  blows 
of  Lincoln's  logic. 


Further  than  stating  that  the  cause  of  the  Civil  war  was  the  great  ques- 
tion of  slavery,  that  had  been  the  difificulty  between  the  North  and  the  South 
for  many  years,  it  will  not  lie  necessary  to  go  into  the  details,  all  so  well  known 
to  the  reader  of  history.  The  war  came  on  in  April,  1861,  and  lasted  four 
long,  eventful  years,  and  was  finally  decided- in  favor  of  the  North  and  of  the 
freedom  of  the  black  race  on  the  American  soil.  Upon  the  election  of  Presi- 
dent Lincoln,  Republican,  in  the  fall  of  i860,  over  the  split-up  factions  of 
Democracy,  the  more  hot-headed  people  of  the  South  rebelled  and  went  out  of 
the  Union,  South  Carolina  being  the  first  to  secede,  and  that  state  was  soon 
followed  by  practically  all  south  of  Mason  and  Dixon's  line. 

The  part  taken  in  this  war  by  the  citizens  of  Vermillion  count}'  is  best 
known  by  following  the  history  of  the  various  companies  and  regiments  that 
had  within  their  ranks  men  from  this  section  of  Indiana.  Before  going  into 
the  history  of  these  commands  they  may  be  enumerated  as  follows:  The 
Fourteenth  Infantry,  the  Sixteenth  Infantry,  the  Eighteenth  Infantry,  the 
Thirty-first  Infantry,  the  Forty-third  Infantry,  the  Seventy-first  Infantry 
(later  the  Sixth  Ca^'alry),  the  Eighty-fifth  Infantry,  the  One  Hundred  and 
Twenty-Ninth  Infantry. 

The  file  of  the  Hoosier  State,  on  July  31,  1861,  had  the  following: 
"Capt.  P.  R.  Owen,  of  the  'Clinton  Guards,"  arrived  home  on  last  Saturday. 
The  Captain's  sojourn  in  'Secessia'  has  improved  his  appearance  materially. 
He  left  the  Fourteenth  Regiment  at  Cheat  River,  eleven  miles  from  Beverly, 
Randolph  county,  Virginia,  and  reports  the  Clinton  boys  all  doing  well  and  in 
excellent  spirits. 

"Captain  Owen  addressed  between  six  and  seven  hundred  persons  in  and 
around  the  Presbyterian  church,  on  Monday  night,  going  into  detail  concern- 
ing the  march  of  the  Fourteenth  Regiment  from  Hoosierdom  to  the  "sacred 
soil,'  and  the  full  particulars  of  the  battle  of  Rich  Mountain,  at  the  conclusion 
of  which  three  cheers  were  given  him  by  the  interested  audience.  He  left 
for  Virginia  yesterday,  accompanied  by  the  good  wishes  of  his  numerous 
friends  in  this  community." 

Another  item  in  the  same  issue  said,  "Our  citizens  were  aroused  from 
their  slumbers  this  morning  by  the  ringing  of  the  bell  on  the  town  hall,  which 
was  the  signal  for  the  departure  of  Captain  Owen  to  join  his  gallant  little 
band  in  Virginia.  .A.  large  number  of  citizens,  under  command  of  James  Mc- 
Culloch,  accompanied  by  martial  music,  proceeded  to  the  residence  of  Captain 
Owen.  In  a  few  minutes  he  mounted  his  horse  and  was  escorted  to  the  east 
end  of  the  bridge,  where  the  company  opened  ranks  as  he  passed  to  the  front. 
John  W.  Vandiver,  on  behalf  of  the  citizens  of  Clinton,  delivered  a  well-timed 


Speech,  suited  to  the  occasion.  Captain  Owen  returned  thanks  for  the  hospital- 
ity and  warm  welcome  he  had  received  since  his  return,  and  pledged  the  flag 
which  the  fair  ladies  had  presented  the  regiment  should  be  brought  back  un- 
tarnished and  covered  with  glory  and  victoiy,  he  hoped.  For  himself,  and 
those  under  him,  he  pledged  loyalty  and  bravery  on  the  field  of  conflict.  Again 
three  cheers  went  up  for  the  Captain  and  his  command.  The  Captain  then 
rode  proudly  away  to  his  duties  in  the  far-off  Southland.'' 


Vermillion  county  was  not  exempt  from  national  enemies  at  home  and 
sympathizers  with  the  South,  though  not  as  bad  here  as  in  other  sections  of 
Indiana.  In  his  well  written  articles  on  "Reminiscences  of  Fifty  Years  Ago," 
by  Editor  Bishop,  of  the  Clinton  Argus,  we  are  permitted  to  quote  the  follow- 
ing on  this  subject: 

By  the  beginning  of  ihe  second  year  of  the  Civil  war  the  people  of  Clin- 
ton, in  common  with  many  other  northern  communities,  began  to  find  out  that 
while  the  great  conflict  was  bringing  out  the  best  and  noblest  in  men  and 
women,  it  was  also  bringing  to  light  the  basest,  the  weakest,  the  most  con- 
temptible and  despisable  elements  of  human  nature.  And  reading  the  pages 
of  histoiy,  we  find  that  it  was  ever  thus. 

Whether  this  outcropping  of  sympathy  with  the  slave  power  was  due  to 
natural,  inherent  wickedness,  depravity  and  sheer  deviltry,  or  whether  it  was 
mistaken  zeal  in  what  the  actors  believed  to  be  a  just  cause,  it  is  not  my  pur- 
pose now  to  discuss.  The  facts  are  bad  enough,  let  alone  hunting  for  theories 
upon  which  to  condone  them. 

Scarcely  had  the  men  who  could  be,  spared  gotten  away  than  there  began 
to  be  whispered  about  a  mysterious  brotherhood  being  organized  all  over  west- 
ern Indiana  and  eastern  Illinois.  At  first  the  name  of  the  secret  organization 
was  not  known.  Its  purpose  was  securely  locked  within  the  breasts  of  oath- 
bound  members.  No  one  knew  whom  to  trust  any  more.  Warnings  of 
physical  violence  began  to  appear  at  homes,  in  towns  and  country,  if  certain 
parties  did  not  let  up  on  their  offensive  activity  in  recruiting  soldiers  for  the 
war.  Mounted  men  were  seen  riding  over  the  country  at  midnight.  Depre- 
dations became  more  and  more  frequent  and  the  losses  heavier.  Horses  and 
cattle  were  missing  and  other  acts  committed,  all  of  which,  combined  with  the 
awful  struggle  at  the  front,  made  home  life  full  of  fear  and  anxiety.  It  finally 
cropped  out  that  the  name  of  this  secret  brigandage  was  the  "Knights  of  the 
Golden  Circle."     The  activity  of  this  gang  was  so  satanic  and  widespread  that 


for  twenty  years  after  the  w  ar  to  even  hint  that  an_\-one  liad  been  a  member 
of  it,  or  was  in  sympathy  with  it,  \\'as  enough  to  drive  a  man  to  poHtical 
obhvion.  People  scored  the  Knights  of  the  Golden  Circle  more  bitterly  than 
they  did  the  men  who  were  fighting  openly  for  the  Confederacy. 

The  condition  here  kept  growing  worse  and  worse,  until  public  sentiment 
was  at  fever  pitch.  Secret  service  agents  were  detailed  to  hunt  down  the 
conspirators  and  bring  them  to  trial.  And  some  were  caught  in  the  drag-net. 
But  not  until  after  great  mischief  had  been  done.  It  needed  but  a  spark  to 
■  set  off  this  magazine,  and  one  day  the  explosion  came  in  a  way  and  a  place  no 
one  had  dreamed  of. 

There  was  at  the  time  of  which  I  speak,  a  low  frame  building  at  the 
northeast  comer  of  Elm  and  Alain  streets.  The  Main  street  room  was  occu- 
pied by  a  man  who  kept  a  groggery.  Licensed  saloons  were  unknown  then. 
This  man  had  so  far  kept  a  discreet  silence  on  the  subject  of  the  war,  although 
it  was  generally  believed  that  at  heart  he  was  in  sympathy  with  the  rebellion. 
Several  of  the  boys  had  come  home  on  furloughs.  One  of  tliem  walked  past 
this  groggery  in  his  uniform.  The  proprietor  flew  into  a  passion  at  sight  of 
him,  and  began  to  pour  forth  a  tirade  of  abuse  and  insult.  As  the  young 
soldier  went  on  past,  the  fellow,  thoroughly  enraged,  stepped  up  behind  him 
and  dealt  the  boy  a  blow  that  felled  him  to  the  street.  Instantly  he  was  upon 
his  prostrate  form  pounding  the  boy  and  would  ha\e  killed  him,  had  not  an 
older  brother,  seeing  the  afifair,  rushed  to  the  boy's  rescue.  The  incident  spread 
over  town  like  a  prairie  fire,  and  in  a  short  time  e\ery  returned  soldier  and 
able-bodied  man  was  at  the  door  of  the  shop  armed  to  the  teeth  and  ready  for 
an  emergency.  That  night  the  doors  were  broken  in  by  a  rush  of  men  and  in 
a  few  minutes  it  was  literally  wrecked.  Every  bottle  and  jug  was  smashed, 
every  barrel  of  whisky  was  broken  in  with  an  ax  and  the  place  had  a  combined 
odor  of  whisky,  beer,  wine  and  tobacco  and  sour  swill  that  would  have  made  a 
starch  factory  smell  like  attar  of  roses.  The  proprietor  was  roughly  notified  to 
get  out  of  town  and  to  do  it  "d — d  quick,  too."  He  got  out  about  12  130  in 
the  morning,  and  a  hatless  man  was  seen  running  out  of  the  end  of  the  old  toll 
bridge,  headed  for  the  south.  He  never  returned  to  straighten  up  his  room 
or  business  affairs.  The  incident  had  one  salutary  effect  after  all.  It  showed 
the  country  that  even  the  old  men  and  those  not  physically  able  to  stand  the 
army  service  were  not  to  be  trifled  with  and  it  gave  the  Knights  of  the  Golden 
Circle  notice  to  keep  hands  oft'.  And  from  that  time  on  their  activities  in  this 
part  became  less.  But  meetings  were  kept  up  in  the  southwest  and  arrange- 
ments had  been  made  to  help  Morgan  carry  his  raid  into  the  Noith.  How- 
ever, the  government's  secret  service  brought  the  scheme  to  a  sharp  end. 



The  company  known  as  I  of  the  Fourteenth  Regiment  of  Indiana  Infantry 
was  formed  at  CHnton  within  less  than  a  month  from  the  time  Fort  Sumter 
had  been  fired  upon  by  the  rebels,  at  Charleston,  South  Cai-olina.  Philander 
R.  Owen  was  made  captain  of  the  company,  and  during  the  war  was  promoted 
to  lievitenant-colonel,  when  John  Lindsey  was  commissioned  captain  to  suc- 
ceed him.  Captain  Lindse}-  was  enlisted  as  first  lieutenant,  and  was  mustered 
out  June  24,  1864,  on  the  expiration  of  his  term;  Upon  his  promotion  to  cap- 
tain. XA'illiam  P.  Haskell,  who  had  been  appointed  second  lieutenant  of  the 
organization,  was  commissioned  first  lieutenant  to  fill  the  \-acancy,  and  was 
discharged  November  25,  1863,  for  promotion  in  the  Fourth  Regiment  of 
United  States  Colored  Troops.  James  M.  Mitchell  was  promoted  from  the 
office  of  second  lieutenant  to  that  of  first.  The  colonels  of  the  Fourteenth, 
in  succession,  were  Nathan  Kimball,  of  Loogootee,  who  was  promoted  briga- 
dier-general ;  William  Harrow,  of  Vincennes,  also  promoted,  and  John  Coons, 
of  Vincennes,  who  was  killed  in  the  battle  of  Spottsylvania  Court-House.  \'ir- 
ginia.  May  12,  1864. 

From  the  adjutant-general's  and  other  state  reports  on  the  Indiana  troops, 
it  is  learned  that  the  Fourteenth  Regiment  was  originally  organized  at  Camp 
Vigo,  near  Terre  Haute,  in  May,  1861,  as  one  of  the  six  regiments  of  state 
troops  accepted  for  one  year.  Upon  the  call  for  three-year  troops  the  regi- 
ment volunteered  for  that  service.  The  new  organization  was  mustered  into 
the  United  States  service  at  Terre  Haute,  June  7,  1861,  being  the  finst  three- 
year  regiment  mustered  into  service  in  the  whole  state  of  Indiana.  On  its 
organization  there  were  one  thousand  one  hundred  and  thirty-four  men  and 
officers.  They  left  Indianapolis  July  5th,  fully  armed  and  equipped,  for  the 
seat  of  war  in  western  Virginia.  They  served  on  outpost  dutv  until  October. 
W'hen  they  had  their  first  engagement  on  Cheat  Mountain,  with  Lee's  army, 
losing  three  killed,  eleven  wounded  and  t\\  o  prisoners.  Their  .second  engage- 
ment was  virtually  in  the  same  battle  at  Greenbrier,  October  3,  when  they  lost 
five  killed  and  eleven  wounded. 

March  23,  1862,  under  General  Shields,  Colonel  Kimball  and  Lieutenant- 
colonel  Harrow,  they  participated  in  the  decisive  battle  of  \Vinchester,  where 
they  lost  four  killed  and  fifty  wounded,  when  "Sheridan  was  twenty  miles 
away."  as  the  poet  puts  it. 

Ik-sides  a  great  deal  of  marching  and  otlier  military  duty,  they  marched 
three  hundred  and  thirty-nine  miles  lietween  May  12  and  June  2^^.  a  part  of 
which  time  most  of  the  men  were  without  shoes  and  short  of  rations.      In  fulv. 


for  about  twenty  days,  they  were  kept  on  outpost  duty  in  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac,  coming  in  contact  with  the  enemy  ahnost  day  and  night.  August 
17th,  they  participated  in  that  great  battle  of  Antietam,  serving  in  Kimball's 
brigade  of  French's  division,  it  being  the  only  portion  of  the  line  of  battle  that 
did  not,  at  some  time  during  the  engagement,  give  way.  On  this  account  the 
men  received  from  General  French  the  title  of  "Gibraltar  Brigade."  For  four 
hours  the  Fourteenth  was  engaged  within  sixty  yards  of  the  enemy's  line,  and, 
after  exhausting  sixty  rounds  of  cartridges,  they  supplied  themselves  with 
others  from  the  boxes  of  their  dead  and  wounded  companions.  In  this  fight 
the  men  were  reduced  in  number  from  three  hundred  and  tw'enty  to  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty.  Subsequently,  they  were  still  further  reduced  at  the  battle 
of  Fredericksburg. 

April  .28,  1863,  being  a  little  recruited  by  some  of  the  wounded  reco\er- 
ing,  they  were  at  the  front  in  the  famous  battle  of  Chancellorsville,  as  well  as 
at  the  desperate  battle  of  Gettysburg,  the  turning-point  of  the  Civil  war.  After 
that  battle  they  engaged  in  several  severe  fights,  and  some  of  the  men  re- 
enlisted,  December  24.,  1863.  This  truly  noble,  brave  regiment — what  was 
left  of  it — was  finally  mustered  out  at  Louisville,  Kentucky,  July  12,  1865.  If 
Vermillion  county  had  not  been  represented  by  another  regiment  in  the  Civil 
strife,  it  \AOuld  have  reason  to  be  proud  of  its  soldiery. 


This  regiment  was  organized  May,  1861,  as  a  one-vear  regiment,  con- 
taining some  volunteers  from  Vermillion  county.  Pleasant  A.  Hackleman,  of 
Rushville,  was  the  first  colonel,  and  on  his  promotion  to  the  brigadier-general- 
ship. Thomas  J-  Lucas,  of  Lawrenceburg,  was  placed  as  colonel.  Horace  S. 
Crane,  of  Clinton,  this  county,  was  mustered  in  as  second  lieutenant  of  Com- 
pany I,  and  mustered  out  with  the  regiment  as  sergeant. 

May  2j.  1862,  this  regiment  was  re-organized  for  the  three-year  service, 
but  was  not  mustered  in  until  "August  19th.  On  the  30th  of  the  month  last 
named,  it  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Richmond,  Kentucky,  losing  two  hundred 
men  killed  and  wounded  and  six  hundred  prisoners!  .\fter  the  defeat  the 
prisoners  were  paroled  and  sent  to  Indianajiolis,  and  were  exchanged  Novem- 
ber 1st.  The  regiment  afterward  participated  in  the  \'icksburg  campaign,  and 
did  great  duty  in  Texas  and  at  Arkansas  Post,  where  it  was  first  to  plant  the 
flag  of  the  Union  within  the  fort.  Its  loss  was  seventy-seven  men,  killed  and 
wounded.  In  April  it  participated  in  a  successful  engagement  at  Port  Gibson, 
and  during  the  ensuing  several  months  it  was  engaged  in  tlie  siege  of  ^'icks- 


burg,  in  which  it  lost  sixty  men,  killed  and  wounded.  Later,  it  had  several 
skirmishes  with  the  rebels  in  Louisiana,  and,  in  the  expedition  up  Red  river, 
sixteen  engagements.  The  regiment  was  mustered  out  at  New  Orleans,  June 
30,  1865. 


Company  C  of  the  Eighteenth  Regiment  of  Volunteer  Infantry,  from 
Indiana,  was  made  up  wholly  of  Vermillion  county's  noble  sons,  and  all  its 
officers  in  the  roster  are  credited  to  Newpoi-f.  John  C.  Jenks  was  promoted 
from  captain  to  major;  James  A.  Bell,  from  first  lieutenant  to  captain;  Josiah 
Campbell  and  William  B.  Hood,  from  private  to  captain ;  Harvey  D.  Crane  and 
Oscar  B.  Lowrey,  from  sergeants  to  first  lieutenants ;  William  H.  Burtut  was 
promoted  from  private  to  first  lieutenant;  William  M.  Mitchell,  from  private 
to  second  lieutenant;  William  W.  Zener  from  first  sergeant  to  second  lieu- 
tenant,'and  then  to  adjutant;  Jasper  Nebeker  was  second  lieutenant  and  died 
in  the  service;  Robert  H.  Nixon  and  John  Anderson  were  sergeants;  and 
corporals  included  Samuel  B.  Davis,  soon  disabled  by  disease,  and  later  well- 
known  throughout  Indiana  as  the  talented,  fearless  Republican  editor  of  the 
Hoosier  State,  at  Newport,  this  county.  John  F.  Stewart,  James  O.  Boggs, 
Alonzo  Hostetter,  Aaron  Hise,  James  Henry,  Charles  Gerresh  and  John  A. 
Henry  were  also  corporals.  John  F.  Leighton,  of  the  recruits,  was  pro- 
moted from  the  ranks  to  the  position  of  corporal.  Hugh  H.  Conley,  another 
recruit,  subsequently  became  a  prominent  citizen  of  Vermillion  county. 

The  first  colonel  of  the  Fighteenth  Regiment  was  Thomas  Pattison,  of 
Aurora,  and  upon  his  resignation,  June  3,  1862,  Henry  D.  Washburn,  of  New- 
port, succeeded  him.  The  latter  was  brevetted  brigadier-general  December 
15,  1864,  and  mustered  out  July  15,  1865.  The  first  service  rendered  by  this 
regiment,  which  was  mustered  in  August  16,  1861,  was  in  Fremont's  march  to 
Springfield,  Missouri.  Soon  afterward,  at  Black  Water,  it  participated  in  the 
capture  of  a  large  number  of  prisoners.  In  March,  1862,  it  was  engaged  in 
the  fierce  contest  at  Pea  Ridge,  where  its  brigade  saved  from  capture  another 
brigade,  and  the  Eighteenth  re-captured  the  guns  of  the  Peoria  Artillery. 
After  several  smaller  engagements  in  Arkansas  it  returned  to  southeastern 
Missouri,  where  it  was  on  duty  during  the  ensuing  winter.  The  following 
spring  it  was  transferred  to  Grant's  army,  and,  as  part  of  the  division  com- 
manded by  General  Carr,  participated  in  the  flanking  of  the  enemy's  position 
at  Grand  Gulf,  and  May  ist,  in  the  battle  of  Port  Gibson,  captured  a  stand  of 
colors  and  some  artillery;  also  on  the  15th.  at  Champion's  Hill,  and  on  the 
17th,  at  Black  River  Bridge.     From  the  19th  till  July  4tli,  it  was  employed  in 


the  famous  siege  of  Vicksburg,  where,  ckiring  the  assauU,  it  was  the  first  regi- 
ment to  plant  its  colors  on  the  enemy's  works. 

After  the  capitulation  of  Vicksburg,  July  4,  1863,  the  regiment  moved  to 
New  Orleans,  and  during  the  autumn  following  participated  in  the  campaign 
up  the  Teche  river  and  in  the  operations  in  that  part  of  Louisana.  November 
I2th  it  embarked  for  Texas,  where  on  the  17th  it  was  engaged  in  the  capture 
of  Mustang  Island,  and  also  in  the  successful  attack  on  Fort  Esperanza  on  the 
26th.  After  a  furlough  in  the  winter  and  spring  of  1864,  it  joined  General 
Butler's  forces  at  Bermuda  Hundred,  in  July,  where  it  had  several  severe 
skirmishes.  August  19th,  it  joined  General  Sheridan's  Army  of  the  Shenan- 
doah. In  the  campaign  that  followed,  the  regiment  participated  in  the  battle 
of  Opequon,  losing  fifty-four  killed  and  wounded ;  also  in  the  pursuit  of  Early, 
seven  killed  and  wounded;  and  in  the  battle  of  Cedar  Creek,  October  19th, 
losing  fifty-one  killed  and  wounded,  besides  thirty-five  prisoners. 

From  the  middle  of  January,  1865,  for  three  months,  the  Eighteenth  w^s 
assisting  in  building  fortifications  at  Savannah.  May  ist,  it  was  the  first  to 
raise  the  Stars  and  Stripes  at  Augusta,  Georgia.  The  regiment  was  mustered 
out  August  28,  1865. 


This  regiment  had  a  number  of  volunteers  from  Vermillion  county.  It 
was  organized  at  Terre  Haute.  September  15,  1861,  for  three  years  service. 
The  colonels  were:  Charles  Cruft,  of  Terre  Haute;  John  Osborn,  of  Bowl- 
ing Green;  John  T.  Smith,  of  Bloomfield,  and  James  R.  Hollowell,  of  Belle- 
more.  It  participated  in  the  decisive  battle  of  Fort  Donelson ;  was  in  the  bat- 
tle of  Shiloh,  where  it  lost  twenty-two  killed,  one  hundred  and  ten  wounded 
and  ten  missing;  in  the  siege  of  Corinth;  was  stationed  at  various  places  in 
Tennessee ;  was  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Stone  River  and  Chattanooga,  of  the 
Atlanta  campaign,  Nashville,  etc.,  and  was  on  duty  in  the  Southwest  until  late 
in  the  autumn  of  the  year  1865,  many  months  after  the  termination  of  the  war. 


Vermillion  county  sent  out  Company  I  of  this  regiment.  Samuel  J.  Hall 
was  captain  from  the  date  of  muster,  October  9,  1861,  to  Januarv  7,  i86s,  the 
close  of  his  enlistment,  and  then  Robert  B.  Sears  was  captain  until  the  regi- 
ment was  mustered  out.  He  was  promoted  from  the  position  of  corporal  to 
that  of  first  lieutenant,  and  finally  to  that  of  captain.     David  A.  Ranger,  of 


Toronto,  this  count}-,  was  first  lieutenant;  William  L.  Martin,  of  Newport, 
was  first  the  second  and  then  the  first  lieutenant.  George  W.  Shewmaker 
was  second  lieutenant  for  the  first  seven  or  eight  months.  John  Lovelace  was 
first  a  private  and  then  second  lieutenant. 

George  K.  Steele,  of  Rockville,  was  colonel  of  the  regiment  until  January 
16,  1862;  William  E.  McLean,  of  Terre  Haute,  until  May  17,  1865,  and  John 
C.  Major,  from  that  date  till  the  mustering  out  of  the  regiment. 

The  first  engagement  had  by  this  regiment  was  at  the  siege  of  New  Ma- 
drid and  Island  No.  Ten.  It  was  attached  to  Commodore  Foote's  gun-boat  fleet 
in  the  reduction  of  Fort  Pillow,  serving  sixty-nine  days  in  that  campaign.  It 
was  the  first  Union  regiment  to  land  in  the  city  of  Memphis,  and,  with  the 
Fifty-sixth  Indiana,  constituted  the  entire  garrison,  holding  that  place  for  two. 
weeks,  until  reinforced.  In  July,  1862,  the  Forty-Third  was  ordered  up 
White  River,  Arkansas,  and  later  to  Helena.  At  the  battle  at  this  place,  a 
year  afterward,  the  regiment  was  especially  distinguished,  alone  supporting  a 
battery  that  was  three  times  charged  by  the  enemy,  repulsing  each  attack,  and 
finally  capturing  a  full  Rebel  regiment  larger  in  point  of  numbers  than  its  own 

It  aided  in  the  capture  of  Little  Rock,  where,  in  January,  1864,  the  regi- 
ment re-enlisted,  when  it  numbered  four  hundred.  Next  it  was  in  the  battle 
of  Elkin's  Ford,  Jenkin's  Ferry,  Camden  and  Mark's  Mills,  near  Saline  river. 
At  the  latter  place,  April  30th,  the  brigade  to  which  it  was  attached,  while 
guarding  the  train  of  four  hundred  wagons  returning  from  Camden  to  Pine 
Bluflfs,  was  furiously  attacked  by  six  thousand  of  General  Marmaduke's  cav- 
alry. The  Forty-third  lost  nearly  two  hundred  in  killed,  wounded  and  miss- 
ing in  this  engagement.  Among  the  captured  were  one  htmdred  and  four  re- 
enlisted  veterans. 

After  this,  the  regiment  came  home  on  a  furlough,  but  while  enjoying 
this  vacation  they  volunteered  to  go  to  Frankfort,  Kentuck}',  which  was  then 
being  threatened  by  Morgan's  raiders.  They  remained  there  until  the  Rebel 
forces  left  central  Kentucky.  For  the  ensuing  year  it  guarded  the  Rebel 
prisoners  at  Camp  Morton,  at  Indianapolis.  After  the  war  ended,  it  was 
among  the  first  regiments  mustered  out,  this  taking  place  at  Indianapolis,  June 
14^  1865.  Of  the  one  hundred  and  sixty-four  men  captured  from  the  regiment 
in  Arkansas  and  taken  to  the  Rebel  prison  at  Tyler,  Texas,  twelve  died. 



Company  A  of  this  regiment  was  exclusively  from  Vermillion  county. 
Andrew  J.  Dowdy,  of  Clinton,  was  captain;  Robert  Bales,  of  Clinton,  first 
lieutenant:  William  O.  Xorris,  of  the  .same  place,  second  lieutenant,  killed  at 
the  battle  of  Richmond,  Kentucky:  Joseph  Hasty,  from  Newport,  succeeded 
him  as  second  lieutenant;  first  sergeant,  William  O.  Washburn,  of  Clinton: 
sergeants,  Francis  D.  Weber,  of  Newport;  Johnson  Malone,  Alexander  M. 
Steats  and  George  W.  Scott,  of  Clinton;  corporals,  Joseph  Brannan,  Richard 
M.  Rucker,  Lewis  H.  Beckman,  Larkin  Craig,  Daniel  Buntin,  Reuben  H. 
Clearwaters,  John  L.  Harris  and  Charles  Blanford;  musicians,  George  W. 
Harbison  and  James  Simpson.  Most  of  these  were  credited  to  Clinton,  though 
some  of  them,  as  well  as  privates  which  were  credited  to  Clinton,  and  some  to 
Newport,  were  residents  of  Helt  township. 

The  colonel  of  this  regiment  was  James  Biddle,  of  Indianapolis.  At  first 
this  regiment  was  organized  as  infantry,  at  Terre  Haute,  in  July  and  August, 

1862.  Its  first  duty  was  to  repel  the  invasion  of  Kirby  Smith  in  Kentucky. 
August  30th,  it  was  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Richmond,  Kentucky,  with  a  loss 
of  two  hundred  and  fifteen  killed  and  wounded  and  three  hundred  and  forty- 
sev^n  prisoners.  After  the  latter  were  exchanged,  four  hundred  men  and 
officers  of  the  regiment  were  sent  to  Muldraugh's  Hill  to  guard  trestle  work, 
and  on  the  following  day  they  were  attacked  by  a  force  of  four  thousand 
Rebels  under  the  command  of  Gen.  John  H.  Morgan,  and  after  an  engagement 
of  an  hour  and  a  half  were  surrounded  and  captured.  The  remainder  of  the 
regiment  then  returned  to  Indianapolis,  where  they  remained  until  August  26, 

1863.  '^  -  -:  _ 
During  the  ensuing  autumn,  with  two  additional  companies,  L  and  M, 

they  were  organized  as  cavalry,  and  were  sent  into  eastern  Tennessee,  wfiere 
they  engaged  in  the  siege  of  Knoxville  and  in  the  operations  against  General 
Longstreet,  on  the  Holston  and  Clinch  rivers,  losing  many  men  in  killed  and 
wounded.  May  11,  1864,  they  joined  Gen.  \A'.  T.  Sherman's  army  in  front  of 
Dalton,  Georgia,  where  it  was  assigned  to  the  ca\alr}-  corps  of  the  Army  of  the 
Ohio,  commanded  by  General  Stoneman.  They  engaged  in  the  battle  of 
Resaca,  also  Cassville.  Kenesaw  Mountain,  etc.,  aided  in  the  capture  of  Ala- 
toona  Pass,  and  was  first  to  take  possession  of  and  raise  the  flag  upon  Lost 
Mountain.  In  Stoneman's  raid  to  Macon.  Georgia,  the  Sixth  Ca\■alr^■  lost 
one  himdred  and  sixty-six  men. 

Returning  to  Na.sliville  for  another  equipment,  it  aided  General  Rousseau 


in  defeating  Forrest  at  Pulasl<i.  Tennessee,  September  27th,  and  pursued  him 
into  Alabama.  In  the  engagement  at  Pulaski  the  regiment  lost  twenty-three 
men.  December  15th  and  i6th,  it  participated  in  the  battle  at  Nashville,  and 
after  the  repulse  of  Hood's  army,  followed  it  some  distance.  In  June,  1865, 
a  portion  of  the  men  were  mustered  out  of  service.  The  remainder  was  con- 
solidated with  the  residual  fraction  of  the  Fifth  Cavalry,  constituting  the  Sixth 
Cavalry,  and  they  were  mustered  out  the  following  September. 


Company  D  of  this  regiment  was  made  up  from  the  southern  portion 
of  Vermillion  county.  William  Reeder,  of  Rockville,  was  captain  until  June 
10,  1863,  and  thenceforward  Caleb  Bales,  of  Toronto,  was  captain,  being  pro- 
moted from  the  rank  of  second  lieutenant.  The  vacancy  thus  made  was  filled 
by  Elisha  Pierce  of  Clinton,  who  was  promoted  from  the  office  of  first  ser- 
geant. The  sergeants  were  James  W.  Taylor,  of  Toronto :  William  A.  Rich- 
ardson, John  A.  C.  Norris  and  David  Mitchell,  of  Clinton ;  and  the  corporals 
were  Brazier  E.  Henderson,  Ben  White,  Samuel  Craig,  James  Andrews, 
Valentine  Foos,  Harrison  Pierce,  Joseph  Foos  and  Wesley  A.  Brown.  The 
musicians  were  Andre\\-  J.  Owen  and  John  A.  Curry. 

The  colonels  of  this  regiment  were  John  P.  Baird  of  Terre  Haute,  to  July 
20,  1864,  and  Alexander  R.  Crane,  of  the  same  city,  until  the  mustering  out  of 
the  regiment. 

This  regiment  was  organized  at  Terre  Haute  September  2,  1862.  Its  first 
engagement  was  with  Forrest,  with  Col.  John  Coburn's  brigade,  March  5, 
1863,  when  the  whole  brigade  was  captufed.  The  men  were  marched  to  Tulla- 
homa,  and  then  transported  to  Libby  Prison  at  Richmond,  amid  much  sufifer- 
ing,  many  dying  along  the  route.  Twenty-six  days  after  their  incarceration 
the  men  were  exchanged,  and  were  stationed  at  Franklin,  Tennessee,  where 
they  fought  in  skirmishes  until  Bragg's  army  fell  back.  The  following  sum- 
mer, fall  and  winter  the  Eighty-fifth  remained  in  the  vicinity  of  Murfreesboro, 
guarding  the  railroad  from  Nashville  to  Chattanooga.  It  took  part  in  every 
important  engagement  in  the  Atlanta  campaign,  being  in  the  terrible  charge 
upon  Resaca,  and  in  the  battles  at  Cassville,  Dallas  Woods,  Golgotha  Church, 
Gulp's  Farm  and  Peach  Tree  Greek.  At  the  last  named  place  it  did  deadly 
work  among  the  Rebel  forces. 

This  regiment  followed  Sherman  in  his  famous  march  to  the  sea,  and 
back  through  the  two  Carolinas,  engaging  in  numerous  battles.  At  Averas- 
boro  it  was  the  directing  regiment,  charging  the  Rebel  works  through  an  open 


field,  but  suffered  greatly.  It  destroyed  a  half  mile  of  railroad  in  forty  min- 
utes time,  corduroying  many  miles  of  wagon  road,  and  after  a  twenty-mile 
march  one  day  it  worked  hard  all  night  making  a  road  up  a  steep,  muddy 
bluff,  for  which  they  were  highly  complimented  by  Generals  Sherman  and 
Slocum,  who  had  given  directions  for  the  work  and  were  eye  witnesses  to  its 
execution.  After  several  other  important  improvements,  it  had  the  pleasure 
of  looking  as  proud  victors  upon  Libby  Prison,  where  so  many  of  them  had 
suffered  in  captivity  in  1862.  Marching  on  to  Washington,  D.  C,  it  was 
mustered  out  of  service  June  12,  1865.  The  remaining  recruits  were  trans- 
ferred to  the  Thirty-third  Indiana  Regiment,  who  were  mustered  out  July  21st, 
at  Louisville,  Kentucky. 


Of  this  gallant  regiment.  Company  K  was  from  Vermillion  county,  and 
it  was  recruited  from  the  tenth  congressional  district  during  the  winter  of 
1863-64,  rendezvoused  at  Michigan  City,  and  was  mustered  into  service  March 
I,  1864,  with  Charles  Case,  of  Fort  Wayne,  as  colonel,  and  Charles  A. 
Zollinger,  of  the  same  city,  as  lieutenant-colonel.  Of  Company  K,  John  Q. 
Washburn,  of  Newport,  was  captain ;  Joseph  Simpson,  of  Highland,  first  lieu- 
tenant, and  the  second  lieutenants  in  succession  were  Thomas  C.  Swan,  of 
Clinton,  Joseph  Simpson,  of  Highland,  William  F.  Eddy,  of  Warsaw,  and 
James  Roberts,  of  Clinton.  Henry  J.  Howard,  of  Toronto,  was  sergeant. 
Corporals,  Jasper  Hollingsworth,  Granville  Gideon  and  John  W.  Nixon,  of 
Vermillion  county,  with  members  from  other  counties.  After  much  long 
marching,  the  first  battle  in  which  this  regiment  took  part  was  the  severe  con- 
test at  Resaca,  opening  the  celebrated  campaign  of  Atlanta.  This  was  a  great 
victory  for  the  Union  troops.  The  next  battle  was  that  at  New  Hope  Church. 
Before  and  after  this,  however,  there  was  almost  constant  skirmishing,  in  very 
rainy  weather.  July  19,  1864,  the  regiment  was  engaged  in  a  severe  fight 
near  Decatur,  Georgia,  where  they  lost  heavily.  Soon  afterward  they  were 
in  the  fight  at  Strawberry  Run,  where  they  lost  twenty-five  men,  but  enabled 
General  Hascall  to  turn  a  position  which  our  forces,  a  brigade  of  General 
Schofield's  corps,  had  failed  to  turn  the  day  before.  Then  on  until  mid-winter 
the  regiment  was  kept  guarding  and  engaging  in  skirmishes.  November  29th, 
occurred  the  battle  of  Franklin,  where  the  enemy  were  repulsed  with  great 
loss.  During  the  latter  portion  of  the  winter  they  were  marching  and  battling 
near  the  coast  of  Virginia  and  North  Carolina,  and  engaged  in  the  battle  of 
Wise's  Forks,  where  the  enemy  met  with  signal  disaster.     The  regiment  was 


engaged  in  provost  duty  about  Raleigh  during  the  summer  of  1865,  and  on 
August  29th  was  mustered  out  of  serAnce. 


The  foregoing  is  but  an  outHne  of  what  transpired  at  home  and  in  the 
Southland  during  the  years  of  that  long-drawn-out  war,  in  which  brother  took 
up  arms  against  brother,  and  in  which  family  ties  were  broken  asunder,  never 
to  be  reunited  again.  While  the  soldiers  above  mentioned  were  doing  their 
part  bra\'ely  and  well,  in  field  and  on  march,  those  remaining  at  home  were 
busy  at  raising  funds  with  which  to  support  and  maintain  the  families  of  the 
volunteers,  as  well  as  in  numerous  ways  help  the  general  government  to  carry 
on  the  war,  which  all  loyal  patriots  believed  was  a  just  war.  Every  town- 
ship in  this  county  had  its  aid  societies  and  relief  funds.  Men  and  women 
were  alive  to  the  pressing  demands  for  hospital  supplies  for  the  men  who  had 
been  sent  to  the  front.  The  county  commissioners,  from  time  to  time,  IcA'ied 
taxes  for  the  furtherance  of  the  cause  in  the  field.  Bounties  were  freely  paid 
and  each  ])atriot  vied  with  his  neighbor  in  seeing  how  much  he  could  do  toward 
relieving  suffering  at  home  and  in  the  tented  field. 

It  is  not  possible  to  give  a  complete  list  of  the  soldiers  from  this  county, 
and  the  larger  part  of  those  who  donned  the  loyal  blue,  from  1861  to  1865, 
have  long  since  answered  the  last  roll-call,  some  being  asleep  under  Southern 
skies,  while  the  remainder  are  buried  in  home  cemeteries  and  their  graves  are 
cared  for  and  tenderly  decorated  with  the  return  of  each  Memorial  day.  Be 
it  said  with  a  just  pride,  that  Vermillion  countv  was  loyal  to  the  Union  cause. 
Its  sacrifice  was  indeed  great,  but  its  victory  was  an  eternal  gain — an  everlast- 
ing inheritance  to  the  oncoming  generations  who  shall  here  reap  the  just  re- 
ward of  liberty  and  union. 

The  records  show  that  Vermillion  county  raised  funds  in  Civil  war  days 
as  follows : 

Bounties     $  76,032 

Relief  for  Soldiers'  Families 41,839 

Miscellaneous  Funds   086 

Total    $119,547 



The  following  paragraphs  have  been  extracted  from  the  private  diary 
kept  by  Edwin  C.  Bishop,  of  Clinton,  who  was  in  the  Engineering  Corps  of  the 
Union  arni}-,  and  a  member  of  the  Eighteenth  Indiana  Infantry.  These  are 
chiefly  paragraphs  of  letters  that  he  wrote  home  to  his  parents  and  brothers, 
and  throw  much  light  on  the  inside  life  and  private  opinions  of  soldiers  who 
marched  and  fought  in  the  Rebellion  from  1861  to  1865.  Finally  this  brave 
man  sacrified  his  life  at  Cedar  Creek,  near  the  close  of  the  conflict.  We  are 
indebted  to  L.  O.  Bishop,  of  the  Saturday  Argus  (a  nephew),  for  the  manu- 
script transcript  from  which  the  following  is  quoted : 

"Springfield,  Missouri,  Nov.  5,  1861. 
■'Friends  at  Home : — Since  I  wrote  to  you  last  there  have  been  some  stir- 
ring times  out  here.  I  did  not  think  then  that  within  three  hours  we  would 
be  on  a  forced  march ;  but  such  was  the  case.  We  received  orders  to  march 
immediately  and  started  just  at  sunset.  After  marching  twelve  miles  we 
stopped  for  the  night,  built  our  camp  fires  and  slept  by  them.  The  next  morn- 
ing we  took  up  our  line  of  march  and  stopped  at  eleven  o'clock  to  get  break- 
fast. We  cooked  all  our  provisions  and  filled  our  haversacks,  and  got  ready 
for  a  hard  march  and  a  fight.  We  had  halted  in  a  prairie  and  \\hen  we 
started  the  long  line  of  soldiers  showed  to  a  good  advantage ;  it  was  a  nice  little 
army  of  about  seventeen  thousand  men.  It  was  enough  to  make  one  feel  like 
fighting  to  see  so  many  in  one  line  going  onward  to  battle.  In  the  morning 
the  news  came  that  we  would  have  to  cut  our  way  through  the  Rebel  army  to 
Fremont;  upon  hearing  this  the  enthusiasm  became  very  great  and  the  soldiers 
would  ]n-ess  forward  and  'Forward'  was  the  cry.  A\'e  got  to  within  se\en 
miles  of  Springfield  that  day  and  stopped  to  rest.  After  that  we  went  to 
within  a  half  mile  of  town,  expecting  to  begin  the  fight  in  the  morning.  But 
we  were  disappointed,  for  in  the  morning  Fremont  went  past  and  camped 
with  his  guards  and  Indians  on  the  road  to  St.  Louis,  he  having  been  super- 
seded, and  we  found  that  Price  was  not  near  here.  There  is  now  an  army  of 
fifty  thousand  men  here,  who  all  expected  to  fight  when  they  got  here.  We 
are  under  the  command  of  General  Hunter.  We  do  not  know,  but  many  be- 
lieve that  we  will  be  sent  to  'Old  Kaintuck.'  Our  tents  came  up  today,  so  we 
are  at  home  again.  We  have  not  got  over  our  disappointment  of  not  finding 
Price,  after  running  all  o\-er  the  state.  The  dirty  skunk  has  got  awav  without 
our  men  getting  a  chance  to  see  him.      It  is  most  time  to  get  dinner  and  I  will 


have  to  quit  before  long.     I  gness  I  shall  do  some  washing  this  afternoon. 
Lon  is  Avashing  now.     Give  my  respects  to  all, 

"Ed.  C.  Bishop." 

"Little  Sugar  Creek,  Ark.,  March  12,  1862. 
"Dear  Father : — I  suppose  it  is.  with  feelings  of  anxiety  you  receive  this 
letter,  for  I  suppose  you  heard  of  our  great  fight,  ^^'hen  I  wrote  last  I  was 
on  the  picket,  and  that  evening  I  was  relieved  and  went  to  camp.  That  night 
about  twelve  o'clock  we  were  ordered  to  cook  two  days'  rations.  The  next 
morning  we  packed  up  our  things  and  sent  the  wagons  back  about  one  mile. 
Then  we  went  onto  a  hill  not  far  from  our  camp  and  commenced  throwing  up 
earth-works.  Our  battery  and  the  Eighth  Regiment  were  on  a  hill  to  our  left. 
That  evening  we  heard  the  firing  between  Siegel  and  the  Rebels.  We  had 
been  fighting  on  a  retreat  from  a  cross  hollow.  The  next  morning  we  went  to 
our  wagons  to  cook  some  rations ;  but  were  soon  ordered  back  to  our  breast- 
works ;  then  we  were  ordered  to  the  rear,  as  the  enemy  had  come  up  on  that 
side.  By  this  time  the  firing  had  become  very  heavy  and  sharp.  We  came 
up  in  front  of  the  enemy's  right  wing,  composed  of  their  best  troops  under 
McCulloch :  they  had  Indians.  I  cannot  tell  you  in  words  so  that  you  will 
understand,  so  I  will  tell  you  some,  and  draw  a  plan  of  the  field,  ^^^^ite's 
brigade,  composed  of  the  Thirty-seventh  and  Fifty-ninth  Illinois  Regiments 
went  in  first,  but  were  driven  back,  and  then  by  a  skillful  movement  the  Rebels 
were  driven  back  and  our  battery  saved.  This  was  the  first  day  of  the  battle 
we  were  in ;  I  was  not  in  the  second  day ;  I  got  lost  from  the  company  in  the 
night  and  was  put  on  guard  over  the  prisoners.  I  have  not  heard  the  loss  on 
either  side ;  but  I  think  ours  was  about  one  hundred  and  twenty  killed  and  two 
hundred  wounded.  I  understand  the  Rebels  left  from  two  hundred  and  fifty 
to  three  hundred  on  the  field.  We  have  about  three  hundred  prisoners.  The 
Rebels  left  the  field  in  a  hurry,  leaving  several  hundred  stand  of  arms  along  the 

"Good  Bye  for  this  time. 

"E.  C.  B." 

"Helena,  Ark,,  August  30,  1862. 
"Friends  at  Home : — I  am  as  well  as  could  be  expected  and  the  company 
is  in  good  spirits.     I  understand  that  five  boats  are  to  start  for  White  river 
this  morning.     I  do  not  know  the  object  of  the  expedition;  it  may  be  a  scout- 
ing party,  perhaps  it  is  going  to  gather  cotton.     It  is  nmiored  that  the  Rebels, 


fort}-  thousand  strong,  are  advancing  on  this  place,  and  these  Ijoats  may  be 
sent  up  White  river  to  keep  them  from  crossing,  but  1  do  not  beheve  that  there 
are  that  many  Rebels  in  this  state ;  however,  if  there  are  that  many,  I  do  not 
believe  they  can  whip  us.  They  are  building  some  fortifications  here  which 
are  to  mount  thirty-two-pounders.  This  seems  to  me  to  be  a  good  place  for  a 
fortification,  as  the  river  can  be  seen  for  a  distance  of  eleven  miles  down  and 
four  or  five  up  stream,  from  a  ridge  that  runs  through  town  and  it  is  separated 
from  the  blufif  by  a  hollow.  The  ground  is  such  that  a  Imttery  could  not 
charge  upon,  so  the  only  way  to  dislodge  troops  would  be  to  shell  them  or 
starve  them  out,  either  of  which  would  be  hard  to  do,  as  long  as  the  river  is 
kept  open.  I  understand  that  this  is  to  be  the  military  capital  instead  of  Little 
Rock.  We  are  having  very  good  times  here,  for  since  it  has  come  to  be  the 
policy  to  subsist  on  the  country  in  w  hich  the  war  is  carried  on,  the  boys  have 
most  everything  this  country  is  able  to  raise.  No  longer  are  the  corn  fields 
guarded,  so  that  'roasting  ears'  can  be  had  without  paying  two  prices  or  run- 
ning the  risk  of  getting  into  the  guard-house.  There  is  an  old  'secesh'  living 
in  our  camp  or  rather  it  was  built  around  him.  When  we  came  here  he  had 
lots  of  bee  hives ;  there  are  none  now ;  but  that  is  all  right  for  he  gave  two 
thousand  five  hundred  dollars  to  build  gun-boats  and  was  tanning  leather  for 
old  Jeff  Thompson ;  but  the  leather  was  not  finished,  so  our  men  are  having 
him  finish  it  for  us.  At  first  taking  wagons  and  other  property  belonging  to 
the  Rebels  was  a  low  thing;  now  it  is  the  only  thing  that  can  be  done.  I  have 
found  out  how  the  thing  worked ;  every  Rebel  was  out  fighting  against  us, 
while  the  darkies  raised  corn;  we  will  have  to  stop  their  supplies,  and  then 
give  them  a  whipping. 

"Yours,  E.  C.  B." 

"November  21,  1862. 
"Dear  Friends: — The  sentence  for  sleeping  on  one's  post  is  to.  forfeit 
one  month's  pay ;  march  ten  days,  four  hours  a  day,  in  front  of  the  colonel's 
quarters,  wearing  a  head-dress  barrel  bearing  this  inscription,  T  slept  on  my 
post.'  " 

"Patterson,  November  18,  1862. 
"Dear  Friends  at  Flome : — I  will  commence  this  letter  tonight.     I  re- 
ceived those  things  you  sent  me,  and  the  long  letter;  I  tell  you  it  does  a  soldier 
good  to  get  long  letters.     Captain  Bell  brought  some  good  butter  from  home 

and  also  a  cooked  chicken,  which  with  the  bread  you  sent  me  made  a  good 
breakfast:  a  real  "Hoosier  breakfast.'     The  bread  tasted  home-like,  and  the 


can  of  peaches  which  we  ate  for  dinner  was  excellent — all  acknowledged  them 
the  best  they  had  eaten  for  a  long  time.  Captain  brought  a  can  of  peaches  and 
I  am  going  to  make  a  pie  of  them.  Now  you  may  laugh,  when  I  speak  of 
cooking,  but  I  tell  you  I  can  cook  some.  I  and,  Lon  went  out  of  camp  to  try 
our  rifles ;  for  a  long  time  I  was  busy  cleaning  my  gun.  You  may  think  half 
a  day  a  long  time  to  be  cleaning  a  gun ;  but  it  is  as  bright  as  a  new  silver  dollar 
all  over.  I  have  a  splendid  rifle ;  it  is  a  Springfield  rifle  and  I  would  not  take 
in  trade  for  it  one  of  the  much  boasted  Enfield  rifles,  ^^^hile  we  were  out  I 
saw  a  squirrel,  and  thought  I  would  like  to  try  my  gun  on  him;  so  Lon  went 
around  the  tree  and  made  a  noise  and  that  scared  the  squirrel  around  to  my 
side  of  the  tree  and  I  shot  him.  A\'ell  I  must  quit  and  go  to  bed :  perhaps  you 
would  like  to  know  about  my  bed.  Well,  we  get  corn  stalks  and  put  them  on 
the  ground  and  over  them  are  spread  two  blankets  and  our  oil  cloth.  Then  we 
have  three  blankets  over  the  three  of  us. 

"There  were  some  five  or  six  thousand  Rebels  building  winter  quarters 
on  Black  river,  but  we  went  down  and  shelled  them;  thev  run,  lea\ing,all  be- 
hind, and  have  not  been  seen  or  heard  of  since. 



"January  i,  1863. 
"Today  another  year  is  ushered  into  Time's  great  circle ;  another  year 
to  witness  the  unhappy  state  of  our  country.  Shall  this  year  see  the  end  of 
this  great  war?  I  see  by  looking  around  me  that  all  are  of  the  same  opinion 
and  mind.  None  wish  to  see  '63'  grow  old  and  die  without  seeing  the  traitor 
meet  his  doom ;  without  seeing  the  American  eagle  sit  in  peace  upon  the  pal- 
metto undisturbed  by  the  serpent  that  crawls  at  its  foot.  How  different  the 
scenes  of  today  and  former  New  Year  days,  when  all  was  peace.  Then  the 
cannon's  loud  roar  broke  upon  the  ear  telling  only  of  joy  and  mirth;  now  that 
roar  speaks  of  bloodshed  and  every  boom  sinks  deeper  into  the  heart  as  Ave 
think  of  the  souls  then  sent  and  perhaps  transported  to  meet  their  God.  Then 
proud  hearts  that  ha\-e  long  since  gone  to  rest  engaged  in  the  merrv  dance  and 
tried  to  lose  sight  of  time  for  a  little  while.  Those  that  are  left  are  soldiers, 
tossed  on  the  battle-stained  waves  of  war ;  they  are  changed ;  time  and  hard- 
ships of  a  soldier's  life  have  made  their  impressions.  The  once  light,  loving 
heart  has  been  turned  to  stone,  by  constantly  coming  in  contact  with  scenes 
of  strife.  "Yours, 

"E.  C.  B." 


"Milligan  Bend,  April  3,  1863. 
"Friends : — I  do  not  feel  nuicli  like  writing.  I  came  into  mj-  quarters 
last  night  and  found  those  things  you  sent  me  had  come.  We  got  them  up 
from  the  landing  about  ten  o'clock  and  went  to  work  to  see  what  there  was. 
Most  of  the  things  were  spoiled;  some  cakes  were  good;  but  all  the  bread  and 
pies  were  spoiled.  Some  of  the  green  apples  were  good;  they  were  quite  a 
treat,  for  they  are  from  fifteen  to  twenty-five  cents  apiece  here  now.  The 
boots  you  sent  were  too  large.  Some  of  the  furloughed  boys  are  fast  coming 
back  into  camp.  We  are  fifteen  miles  from  Vicksburg  and  twenty-five  by 
river.  No  news  from  Yazoo,  and  we  do  not  know  what  is  going  on  around 
us,  as  much  as  you  do  there.  We  can  hear  the  shelling  at  Vicksburg,  when- 
ever there  is  any  going  on  there.  Our  position  is  at  the  siege  as  follows : 
First  United  States  Infantry,  Eighth,  Thirty-Third  and  Ninty-Ninth  Illinois, 
a  batterv'  of  six  pieces,  siege  guns  and  all  stationed  at  the  mouth  of  the  canal 
opposite  Vicksburg.  We  are  in  the  Fourteenth  Division  and  the  Thirteenth 
Army  Corps;  our  brigade  is  under  General  Baxter.  I  found  a  piece  of  poetiy 
in  the  box  you  sent  entitled  'Come  Home."     I  say : 

How  gladly  would  I  do  it, 

And  stav  with  my  friends  for  e\'er. 
But  first  let  us  down  with  the  Rebels, 

That  our  Union  are  trying  to  se\er. 

"Edwin  C." 

"Near  Vicksburg,  ]\Iiss.,  June  12.  1863. 
"My  Dear  Sister : — I  will  send  you  a  few  lines  to  let  you  know  I  am  ali^■e 
and  well.  We  had  a  battle  at  Champion's  Hill.  The  Rebels  run,  as  usual, 
and  we  had  a  fine  time  overhauling  their  knapsacks,  which  they  left  at  Edwards 
Station.  We  all  got  clean  clothes,  tobacco,  writing  paper,  etc.  This  sheet  is 
one  I  got ;  captured  enough  to  last  for  a  while.  We  took  in  two  or  three  regi- 
ments at  the  ridge;  they  stuck  cotton  in  their  guns  and  bayonets,  when  the 
charge  began,  and  turned  and  run  for  the  bridge.  I  have  not  found  any  good 
place  from  which  I  can  make  a  map  of  this  field.  I  went  to  a  place  and  w-as 
trying  to  make  a  map  of  the  field,  but  was  shot  at  several  times,  so  I  left. 
The  Rebels  do  not  fire  much.  They  opened  a  few  guns  this  morning,  but  soon 
found  that  place  too  hot  for  them.  Deserters  come  in  all  the  time ;  they  all 
tell  different  tales,  and  we  do  not  know  which  to  believe.  But  I  guess  they 
have  hard  times;  one  of  the  Iowa  boys  gave  a  deserter  his  breakfast,  and  he 
ate  four  crackers,  one  loaf  of  bread,  a  lot  of  potatoes  and  ham.  and  drunk  five 


cups  of  strong  coffee.  He  told  General  Lawler  that  he  had  had  but  little  for  a 
week.  We  hear  they  can  hold  out  fifteen  days.  The  boys  are  in  fine  spirits. 
When  they  want  a  little  exercise,  they  take  their  guns  and  go  out  to  the  rifle 
pits  and  take  a  few  shots  at  the  Rebels,  if  they  can  see  one  to  shoot  at.  I  have 
sent  several  dispatches  to  them  to  get  in.  What  'Rebs'  are  in  the  city  are 
surely  ours,  unless  they  dig  out  under  the  hill.  I  guess  after  we  get  this  place 
we  will  have  to  go  over  and  help  the  boys  in  the  Army  of  the  Potomac ;  poor 
fellows,  never  were  intended  to  fight,  and  not  in  the  least  frightened  about 
Johnson.  We  will  run  him  all  over  the  state  for  a  breakfast  spell  and  take 
him  in  for  dinner.  I  am  now  about  four  feet  in  the  ground  and  feel  perfectly 
safe.     Write  soon  to  yours, 




Article  7.  section  j,  of  the  constitution  of  Indiana,  declared  that: 
"Knowledge  and  learning  generally  diffused  throughout  a  community,  heing 
essential  to  the  preservation  of  a  free  goxernment,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the 
government  by  its  General  Assembly  to  encourage,  by  all  suitable  means, 
moral,  intellectual,  scientific  and  agricultural  improvements,  and  to  prox'ide  liy 
law  for  a  general  and  uniform  system  of  common  schools,  wherein  tuition  shall 
be  without  charge  and  ecjually  open  to  all." 

No  state  or  territory  has  manifested  an  equally  profound  and  intelligent 
interest  in  the  subject  of  education  as  has  Indiana,  commencing  with  the  terri- 
torial existence  in  1800.  While  the  Congress  of  the  United  States,  under 
the  controlling  influence  of  Jefiferson,  had  been  wise  and  far-seeing  on  this 
subject,  yet  it  is  a  fact  that  in  the  organization  of  the  new  territories  and  states 
that  body  was  more  or  less  influenced  by  the  men  who  approached  Congress 
in  the  interests  of  the  new  municipalitv — men  who  were  identified  with  it. 
.And  according  to  whom  these  men  were  and  the  suggestion  that  they  would 
urge,  would  be  many  of  the  provisions  in  the  enabling  acts  on  the  subject  of 

Lilieral  provision  had  been  made  by  the  general  go\"ernment  for  poi)ular 
education  in  all  the  Northwestern  states.  Before  any  of  these  states  had  been 
formed,  while  the  general  territory  in  which  the}-  were  embraced  was  a  wilder- 
ness, inhabited  almost  exclusively  by  savages.  Congress,  on  the  20th  of  May, 
1785,  passed  an  ordinance  reserving  every  sixteenth  section  of  land  in  the 
■whole  territory  northwest  of  the  river  Ohio  for  the  maintenance  of  public 
schools.  Two  years  later,  in  the  famous  ordinance  of  1787,  it  was  declared 
that  "religion,  morality  and  knowledge  being  necessary  to  good  goxernment 
and  the  happiness  of  inankind,  schools,  and  the  means  of  education,  shall  be 
forever  encouraged." 

In  Indiana  there  was  from  the  first  a  class  of  public-spirited  men  who 

were  the  friends  and  earnest  advocates  of  popular  education.  In  1807  an  act 

was  passed  by  the  General  Assembly  of  the  territory,  for  the  incorporation  of  a 

universitv  at  A'incennes.      The  first  board  of  trustees  of  this  uni\ersit\'  named 



in  tlie  incorporating  act  were  men  of  large  and  liberal  ideas  of  education. 
They  reflected  the  true  spirit  of  the  framers  of  the  ordinance  of  1787.  In  the 
preamble  to  the  incorporating  act  it  was  declared  that  "the  independence, 
happiness  and  energy  of  every  republic  depended  (under  the  influence  of  the 
destinies  of  heaven)  upon  the  wisdom,  virtue,  talents  and  energy  of  its  citizens 
and  rulers ;  that  science,  literature  and  the  liberal  arts  contributed  in  an  eminent 
degree  to  improve  those  qualities  and  acquirements,  and  that  learning  had  ever 
been  found  the  ablest  advocate  of  genuine  liberty,  the  best  supporter  of  rational 
religion,  and  the  source  oi  the  only  solid  and  im|:)erishable  glory  which  nations 
can  acquire." 

The  only  acts  passed  with  regard  to  the  school  lands  b\-  the  Territorial 
Legislature  were  those  of  October  26,  i8o8,  and  December  14,  i8io.  The 
former  invested  the  several  courts  of  common  pleas  in  the  territory  with  full 
power  to  lease  the  sections  of  land  reserved  for  the  use  of  slIiooIs  in  the  several 
counties,  restricting  the  leases  to  five  years  and  making  it  obligatory  upon  the 
lessees  to  clear  ten  acres  upon  each  quarter  section.  The  latter  act  authorized 
the  courts  of  common  pleas  to  appoint  trustees  of  the  school  lands  in  the  sev- 
eral counties,  and  prohibited  the  wasting  of  sugar  trees  and  timber  thereon. 

On  January  9,  182 1,  the  General  Assembly  appointed  a  committee  to 
draft  and  report  to  the  next  Legislature  a  bill  providing  for  a  general  system 
of  education,  with  instructions  to  guard  particularly  against  "any  distinction 
between  the  rich  and  the  poor."  This  committee  drew  up  the  first  general 
school  laws  of  Indiana.  The  space  allotted  us  forbids  even  a  catalogue  of 
the  various  enactments  of  the  General  Assembly  on  the  subject  of  the  public 
schools  since  the  organization  of  the  state  government.  Almost  every  session 
has  witnessed  the  passage  of  either  general  or  special  laws  pertaining  to  educa- 
tion in  some  form,  either  to  the  common  schools  or  the  incorporation  of  semi- 
naries, academies,  colleges,  universities  or  public  libraries ;  and  the  successive 
governors  of  the  state  have  favored  the  interests  of  pojmlar  education. 

Vermillion  county  has  always  taken  much  care  to  provide  the  best  schools 
possible,  both  public  and  private.  The  last  log  cabin  school  house  was  super- 
seded more  than  forty  years  ago  by  the  more  modern  frame  and  brick  build- 
ings. A  quarter  of  a  century  ago  this  county  had  school  buildings  as  follows : 
Clinton  township,  brick,  three;  frame,  nine.  Helt  township,  brick,  three; 
frame,  twenty.  Vermillion  township,  brick,  one;  frame,  tvvehe.  Eugene 
township  brick,  one:  frame,  seven.  Highland  township,  brick,  one:  frame, 
eleven.     Total,  nine  brick  buildings;  fifty-nine  frame. 

In  1887  the  estimated  value  of  school  houses  and  lots  was  $59,000;  of 
school    apparatus,  globes,  maps,    etc.,  about    $4,000.     Number    of    teachers 


employed  in  tlie  count}-,  eighty-fi\e.  The  nnniljer  of  children  of  school  age 
(from  six  to  twenty-one  years)  in  1886  was  4,291,  and  the  enrollment  in 
the  schools  of  the  county  was  3.467.  or  about  eighty  per  cent. 

In  Clinton  township  the  first  school  house  was  a  log  structure  of  the 
most  primitive  type,  located  at  Davidson's  hill,  one  mile  northeast  of  Clinton. 
There  the  only  school  books  were  the  English  reader,  Webster's  elementary 
speller  and  the  New  Testament,  with  now  and  then  a  copy  of  Daboll's  arith- 
metic. Since  then  a  remarkable  growth  has  been  seen  with  the  ushering  in 
and  carrying  forward  of  the  free  public  school  system,  which  many  in  the 
state  bitterly  opposed  at  the  time,  because  of  their  lack  of  wisdom. 

Two  or  more  attempts  have  been  made  to  locate  special  educational  in- 
stitutions, including  the  one  just  before  the  Civil  war,  known  as  Alyrani  G. 
Towsley's  Military  Institute  and  the  Farmer's  College,  which  went  dcjwn  on 
account  of  the  coming  on  of  the  Rebellion  in  1861.  A  portion  of  the  large 
frame  building  that  was  to  be  used  permanently  for  that  institution  was 
afterward  converted  into  an  opera  house,  and  its  wings  into  dwellings. 

In  Helt  township  the  first  school  was  taught  prior  to  1830,  on  the  prairie. 

Newport,  the  county  seat,  has  always  been  a  good  school  town,  and  kept 
abreast  with  the  times  in  every  advance  made  in  improved  educational 
methods.  In  pioneer  days,  according  to  the  state  law,  a  county  seminary  was 
established  here,  as  in  all  other  county-seat  towns.  It  flourished  until  the 
going  out  of  the  old  pri\ate  or  subscription  schools  and  the  introduction  of 
that  better  plan  of  the  present  common  school,  the  free  school  system,  when  it 
was  converted  into  a  graded  school  about  1832.  The  building  Avas  a  lirick 
structure.  Additions  were  made  to  it  from  time  to  time  and  it  was  still  in 
use  in  the  nineties.  Its  location  was  on  the  heights  overlooking  the  romantic 
scenes  of  the  charming  Little  Vermillion  river.  Two  of  the  additions  were 
made  by  the  town  of  Newport  at  an  expense  of  one  thousand  dollars.  The 
town  purchased  the  property  from  the  township,  when  the  municipal it\-  took 
it  o\er  and  has  had  charge  of  the  same  since  1886. 

The  advancement  made  in  public  school  affairs  in  this  county  with  the 
passing  of  a  half  century  are  indeed  very  great.  This  change  is  noted  the 
more  vividly,  when  one  contemplates  the  old  log  school  house  down  by  the 
creek,  or  out  on  the  prairies,  in  which  were  taught  the  simplest  rudiments  of 
an  education,  under  the  hardships  of  a  slab  seat,  a  puncheon  floor,  and  a  fire- 
place for  heating  the  same  in  the  long,  cold  winter  day.  It  goes  without 
saying  that  children  of  today  ought  to  master  their  studies  more  rapidh-  and 
better  than  did  their  grandparents,  and  thank  a  higher  order  of  Christian 
civilization  for  the  most  excellent  school  system  that  now  obtains  from  one 
end  of  the  country  to  the  other.     While  there  were  many  noble,  brainv,  well- 


educated  men  of  the  Hoosier  state  who  attended  these  pioneer  schools,  the 
larger  per  cent,  of  all  those  who  attended  those  early-day  schools  never 
achieved  any  great  educational  accomplishments.  All  praise  to  the  present 
public  school  system. 


The  subjoined  statistics  will  show  the  condition  of  the  schools  in  the 
various  townships  in  Vermillion  county,  according  to  the  superintendent's 
annual  report  for  191 2,  including  the  items  of  teachers,  buildings,  wages, 
apportionments,  etc. : 

School  Male         Female.  Daily  Wages.  Appor- 

Houses.  Teachers.  Teachers.  Male.  Female,  tionment. 

Clinton   township 14  5  21       $3.10     $2.40       $44,031 

Eugene  township 5  2  6         3.25       2.84  8,620 

Helt   township    13  5  21  4,00       3.12         32,509 

Highland  township 10  5  11  4.00       3.00  13.032 

Vermillion   township 11  3  7         3.30       2.79  10,781 

The  numl^er  of  graduates  from  the  high  school  last  year  was :  Helt 
township,  1 1  ;  Perrysville,  9 ;  Cayuga,  3 ;  Dana,  1 1  ;  Newport.  8 ;  Clinton,  19. 

There  is  one  Carnegie  Library,  connected  with  the  city  and  township  of 
Clinton.  All  of  the  district  schools  have  small  permanent  libraries.  The 
present  county  school  superintendent,  John  B.  Butler,  has  been  serving  in  an 
acceptable  manner  since  1907. 

By  a  school  enumeration  for  Vermillion  county,  taken  in  Ma)-.  19 10, 
the  following  facts  were  brought  out  concerning  the  school  population :  The 
number  of  school  age  in  the  several  townships  and  towns  of  the  county  was 
as  follows :  Clinton  township,  844 ;  Eugene  township,  33 1 ;  Helt  township, 
804;  Highland  township,  478;  Vermillion  township,  366;  Cayuga  town, 
212;  Dana  town,  206;  Newport  town,  163;  city  of  Clinton,  1,468.  The 
totals  for  the  years  1907  and  1910,  inclusive,  were  :  1907;  4,627;  1908,  4,818; 
1909,  4,792;  1910,  4,872. 

About  1904  the  consolidated  country  school  system  was  established  in 
Helt  township  this  county,  and  has  proven  a  grand  success.  It  gix'es  the 
pupils  a  better,  easier  method  of  getting  to  and  from  school,  and  at  no  in- 
creased expense,  all  things  counted,  than  under  the  separate  school  district,, 
system.  This  school  is  counted  one^of  the  "model"  sehools  in  Indiana.  It 
a  delightful  sight  to  see  the  several  teams  lined  uj)  ready  to  recei\-e  the  chil- 
dren when  school  closes  each  day.  They  are  carried  in  hacks  to  and  from 
their  homes,  a  radical  change  for  the  better.  It  is  believed  that  this  system  ; 
will  ere  long  become  universal  in  the  country  school  districts  in  the  state. 




The  tirst  denomination  in  this  count}'  to  erect  a  house  of  worship  was  the 
Presbyterians,  who  organized  at  CHnton  in  1831,  aided  by  the  Methodists. 
Running  down  in  the  course  of  years,  in  1834  they  reorganized  their  society, 
under  Re\-.  John  Gerrish,  of  Helt  township,  who  died  in  tlie  spring  of  1887. 
in  Kansas.  Jn  1887  there  were  fifty-five  members  in  the  Chnton  Pre.slnterian 
church,  the  ruhng  elders  being  at  that  date  E.  V.  Brown  and  Da\id  McBeth. 
A  Sundav  school  was  then  maintained  the  year  round,  with  an  average  at- 
tendance of  ninet}'  pupils.  Re\".  L.  (l.  Hay.  D.  D..  (jf  Terre  Haute,  was  then 
serving  as  a  stated  supply  for  this  church,  commencing  with  February,  1887. 
Earlier  pastors  and  supplies  were  Revs.  James  Boggs,  in  1855:  John  A.  Tifif- 
ner,  two  to  three  years:  John  Hawks,  of  Rockville,  about  the  same  length  of 
time;  Thomas  (iriffith.  nt  .Mumczuma,  tour  years,  and  L.  H.  Davidson.  The 
first  church  building  was  CdUNcrted  into  a  barn.  A  new  house  of  worship, 
erected  about  1852.  was  a  frame  building,  forty  by  se\-enty  feet,  located  cen- 
trally, on  the  school  house  lot.  The  present  church  w'as  erected  of  brick  in 
1896  at  a  cost  of  ten  thousand  dollars.     Membership,  one  hundred  and  fifty. 

Other  pa.stors  have  been:  Revs.  \A'illiam  Mitchell,  (ieorge  McCollough, 
L.  G.  Hay,  A.  M.  Hooke,  J.  P.  Hutchinson,  G.  H.  Hoffoce.  E.  W.  Sanders, 
C,  E.  Fowler,  H.  W.  White,  and  the  present  pastor,  Re\-.  S.  \'.  Sydenstricker, 
who  began  in  March,  1910. 

Toronto  Presbyterian  church  was  organized  either  1850  or  1831,  by 
Rev,  Gerrish.  The  church,  which  was  built  during  1852,  was  a  frame  struc- 
ture thirty  by  forty  feet  in  size,  and  in  1890  was  still  in  good  state  of  pres- 
ervation, .\mong  the  early  members  of  the  church  were  James  A.  Elder 
and  wife,  Samuel  Elder  and  wife.  Rev.  John  A.  TifYany  was  pastor  from  1858 
to  1866.  In  1887  the  number  of  communicants  was  about  twenty.  .\  union 
prayer  meeting  was  maintained  by  the  Methodists.  Presbyterians  and  Bap- 

The  Toronto  Presljyterian  church,  at  Bond,  was  organized  nian\-  years 
ago,  but  later  the  membership  largely  went  to  other  ]ioints,   as  the  countrv 


settled  up,  many  going  to  the  church  at  Dana.  There  a  neat  church  was  buih 
of  frame,  thirty-six  by  forty  feet,  besides  a  "rostrum"  eight  by  fourteen  feet. 
Its  cost  was  about  two  thousand  eight  hundred  dollars,  not  counting  pews  and 
other  fLxtures.  It  was  dedicated  June  26,  1887,  by  Rev.  T.  D.  Fyfife,  of 
Roseville,  Indiana.  The  leading  men  in  building  were  W.  M.  Taylor,  Samuel 
Aikman  and  Samuel  Hall.     This  building  is  still  in  use. 

At  Newport  the  Presbyterians  were  early  in  the  field,  but  allowed  the 
first  society  to  run  down.  It  was  reorganized  in  the  spring  of  1875,  by  Rev. 
Mitchell,  of  Clinton,  with  only  seven  members.  The  ruling  elders  were  M.  G. 
Rhoades  and  I.  B.  Fusselman,  later  of  Danville.  About  1847  a  frame  church 
was  erected,  forty  by  fifty  feet,  on  Market  street,  east  of  the  public  square. 
This  was  erected  soon  after  the  organization  was  efTected.  Later  it  was  occu- 
pied by  the  United  Brethren.  The  society  was  never  very  strong  at  New- 
port, other  churches  having  held  the  field. 

The  Eugene  Presbyterian  church  was  first  organized  in  1826,  when  the 
first  meetings  were  held  in  the  house  of  William  Thompson,  a  log  cabin  a 
little  west  of  the  depot  on  the  Big  Vermillion  river.  At  first  its  name  was 
the  "River  and  County  Vermillion  Church,"  and  comprised,  April  26,  1826, 
Asa  Palmer,  William  Thompson,  William  Wilson,  Ann  Wilson,  William 
Armour,  Ruhama  Armour,  Eliza  Rodman,  Hannah  Laughlin,  [Margaret 
Caldwell,  Mary  West,  Mary  Thompson,  Lucy  Thompson,  and  Susan  Wilson. 
The  first  minister  was  Rew  James  Hummer,  who  was  succeeded  b}'  Revs. 
Baldridge,  Kingsbruy,  Cozad,  Conklin,  C.  K.  Thompson,  Venable  Crosby, 
Henry  M.  Bacon  and  W.  Y.  Allen,  of  Rockville.  In  1887  this  church  had  a 
membership  of  fifty-two.  The  second  place  of  meeting  was  a  brick  dwelling, 
and  the  third  place  a  neat  frame  church,  thirty-six  by  sixty  feet,  erected  in 
1859  in  partnership  with  the  Methodist  people.  Its  cost  was  three  thousand 
dollars;  it  was  erected  centrally  in  the  village  of  Eugene.  Later  the  church 
interests  were  removed  to  Cayuga  and  in  1902  a  fine  brick  church  building 
was  erected,  bearing  the  inscription,  "Eugene  1823 — Memorial — Cayuga, 
1902."    It  is  located  in  the  best  part  of  the  western  portion  of  the  town. 

What  was  styled  Mount  Olivet  Cumberland  Presbyterian  church  was 
located"  three  and  a  half  miles  southwest  of  Eugene. 

At  Perrysville  a  Presbyterian  church  was  organized  at  an  early  day  and 
after  struggling  along  many  years  finally  dissolved,  when  it  only  mustered 
fifteen  members.  Their  house  of  worship,  which  they  purchased  from  the 
Universalist  society,  became  unsafe,  and  in  1882  was  sold  for  one  hundred 
and  fifty  dollars  and  later  torn  down.  There  was  no  regular  preaching  after 
1873,  when  there  was  twenty-one  members. 




Kiddie's  Prairie  Baptist  churcli. — In  1852  a  branch  or  mission  of  the 
Bloomlield  Baptist  church  was' organized  at  Toronto,  and  in  Juh'.  1853,  it 
was  reorganized  as  a  separate  body  in  the  Toronto  Presbyterian  church,  b)' 
Rev.  G.  VV.  Riley.  Revs.  John  and  G.  W.  Riley  were  preachers  in  1852,  the 
latter  named  being  the  first  pastor.  Up  to  August,  1861,  the  following  served 
as  pastors  or  supplies:  Rev.  Joseph  Shirk,  William  .McMasters  and  .\.  J. 
Riley :  thence  on  down  later  came  Revs.  William  McMasters,.  Alelvin  Mc- 
Kee,  William  McMasters,  Melvin  McKee,  D.  S.  French,  William  McMasters, 
A.  J.  Riley,  G.  T.  Willis,  J.  M.  Kendall,  1883;  W.  T.  Cuppy,  1886-87. 

The  Tennessee  Valley  Baptist  church  was  organized  in  September,  1872, 
in  the  Staats  school  house  by  Rev.  William  McJklasters,  who  had  preached 
there  some  time  previously,  when  it  was  known  as  the  "mission."  Rev. 
William  McMasters  was  pastor  of  this  church  until  his  death,  in  1886,  being 
succeeded  by  Rev.  John  H.  Rusmisel.  In  1875  a  neat  frame  church  was  pro- 
vided at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  six  hundred  dollars.  It  was  built  in  the  north- 
east quarter  of  section  18,  township  15,  range  9  west.  Present  membership 
is  one  hundred. 

Dana  Baptist  church  was  formed  in  1880,  with  twelve  members,  by  Rev. 
G.  T.  Willis.  Among  the  early  pastors  now  disclosed  by  the  records  were 
Revs.  Willis,  Cartwright,  William  McMasters,  Palmer  and  h'ranklin.  The 
church  building,  a  fancy  brick  structure,  thirty-six  Ijy  sixty  feet,  in  the  north- 
ern part  of  the  village  of  Dana,  was  built  in  1887  ^t  a  cost  of  two  thousand 
five  hundred  dollars. 

Hopewell  Baptist  church,  a  frame  building  about  two  miles  north  of 
Gessie,  was  the  place  of  meeting  of  a  society  which  was  organized  very  early 
in  the  county's  history  by  the  Rabourns.  A  difificulty  arose  over  Freemasonry, 
one  side  holding  to  the  order,  while  the  other  pulled  out  of  Christian  fellow- 
ship on  account  of  this  fraternity.  The  two  factions  were  called  "Stippites" 
and  "Johnsonites,"  after  the  two  leading  spirits  of  the  Masonic  and  anti- 
Masonic  factions.  This  split  the  little  church  into  two  parts,  and  neither 
flourished  after  that. 

At  Clinton  the  Baptist  church  is  young  in  years,  it  ha\ing  been  organized 
in  1909  with  twenty-two  members,  which  has  now  grown  to  a  menil)ersliip  of 
ninet\-four.  A  little  more  than  three  years  ago  a  few  Baptist  families,  desir- 
ing of  having  a  church  of  their  own  faith,  banded  together  and  invited  Rev. 
J.  M.  Kendall  to  preach  to  them  occasionalh-,  and  August  18,  1909.  with  his 


assistance,  organized  the  First  Baptist  church  of  Chnton,  •  Indiana,  with 
twenty-two  memliers.  About  eight  months  after  the  organization  of  tlie 
church  tlie  i>astor  resigned  because  of  other  pressing  duties.  The  following 
July  the  state  convention  sent  Mrs.  N.  B.  Leslie  to  this  important  field,  and 
under  her  care  the  work  progressed  rapidly,  including  a  flourishing,  modern 
planned  Sunday  school.  On  March  ist,  tliis  devoted  woman  was  sent  to  other 
fields.  Then  the  membershi])  of  the  church  had  reached  ninet\-  communicants. 
A  lot  was  purchased  upon  which  to  erect  a  church,  the  ])rice  paid  being  one 
thousand  eight  hundred  and  fifty  dollars:  it  is  at  the  corner  of  Fifth  and 
Walnut  streets,  an  ideal  location.  March  i,  1912,  the  present  pastor.  Rev. 
A.  E.  Clem,  was  called,  since  which  he  has  de\'oted  his  entire  time  to  building 
up  the  interests  of  the  church  and  attending  to  the  duties  of  raising  funds 
with  which  to  erect  tlie  new  church,  which  has  its  foundation  in  (  December, 
IQIJ)  and  when  completed  will  cost  about  twent)'  thousand  dollars.  It  is  to 
be  of  faced  brick  and  stone  trimmings,  with  full-sized  basement,  fift\--six  by 
eighty  feet,  wherein  will  be  situated  Sunday  school  rooms,  kitchen,  gymnas- 
ium, etc.  In  the  summer  of  1912  great  tent  meetings  were  held  and  as  a 
result  there  were  added  to  the  church,  under  Pastor  Clem  and  the  e\angelist, 
Charles  E,  Watkins,  more  than  twenty-five  more  memliers.  In  all,  the  so- 
ciety now  has  a  membership  of  almost  two  hundred. 

The  Baptist  churches  in  Vermillion  count\-  at  this  date  are. tlie  one  at 
Clinton,  the  one  at  a  point  in  Helt  township,  known  as  Tennessee  Valley 
church,  with  a  hundred  niembers ;  one  at  Dana,  which  had  in  u;ii  ninet\'-six 
members,  and  proper!}-  \alued  at  three  thousand  fi\e  hundred  dollars. 


Perhaps  the  earliest  (irganizatidu  (if  this  denomination  in  X'ermillinn 
county  was  formed  as  early  as  i<S37.  This  was  the  churcli  at  Haneman 
Chapel,  formed  at  the  house  of  Christopher  Haneman.  In  1837  a  class  was 
formed  by  a  few  members  of  that  faith,  including  Christopher  Haneman  and 
wife,  Harriet  McDowel,  George  VVellman  and  wife,  Jeremiah  Hammond  and 
wife,  Silas  Hollingsworth  and  wife,  Emily  Bales  and  Isaac  Johnson  and  wife. 
A  brick  church  was  erected  in  1842,  but  not  completed  until  1872,  thirty  years 
later.  It  stood  on  section  6,  township  15,  range  g.  Among  the  pioneer  min- 
isters there  may  be  recalled  the  names  of  Revs.  John  Shoey,  \ViIliam  Eckles, 
Andrew  W'imset,  Conyer.  Jnhn  .Miller,  Tliomas  Hamilton,  Joseph  Nye,  Rev. 
Nugen.  John  .\.  Mast  and  Sanmcl   Potts.     In  1887  there  were  twentv-eight 


members  and  Rev.  S.  S.  Sims  was  pastor,  and  services  were  held  once  in 
three  weeks. 

Midway  United  Brethren  church  was  organized  in  1857  by  Rev.  Joel 
Cogwill,  with  about  fifteen  members,  in  the  Castle  school  house,  which  later 
w-as  purchased  and  converted  into  a  church  building.  It  was  twenty-two  by 
thirty  feet  in  size,  and  situated  on  section  13.  township  15.  range  10.  Public 
services  were  discontinued  there  in  1887. 

Bethel  United  Brethren  church,  two  miles  southwest  of  Newport,  was 
organized  many  years  ago.  Tn  1887  the  church  enjox'ed  a  membership  of 
forty-eight.    A  church  building  was  erected  about  1862. 

Opedee  United  Brethren  church  was  organized  about  1880,  and  in  1886 
Miss  \'Vimsett  was  a  steward.  Meetings  were  held  then  in  a  school  house. 
Ira  Mater,  of  Hillsdale,  was  a  minister  in  this  church.  Another  class  met  at 
the  Eggleston  school  house.  B.  F.  Dungan,  of  Newport,  was  pastor  of  all  the 
United  Brethren  churches  in  \^ermillion  township  in  the  eighties. 

At  Newport  the  United  Brethren  church  was  organized  in  1870  by  Rev. 
Samuel  Garrigus,  then  a  resident  of  Bellemore,  Parke  count)'.  At  first  there 
were  but  fourteen  members  in  this  class,  but  by  1887  it  had  increased  to  ninet\', 
chiefly  under  the  ministrations  of  Rev.  Dungan.  At  the  date  last  mentioned 
the  society  worshiped  in  the  Presbyterian  church,  on  Market  street. 

Another  ven'  early  church  of  this  sect  was  the  Cross-Roads  L'nited 
Brethren  church,  two  miles  west  of  Perrysville,  organized  before  1848.  .V 
large  frame  church  house  was  built  in  early  years.  In  1888  the  membership 
of  this  society  was  seventy-five. 

The  Perrysville  United  Brethren  church  was  organized  many  years  ago, 
and  in  1887  was  called  an  old  society.  At  that  time  the  church  was  a  frame 
building,  thirty-eight  by  forty-eight  feet,  erected  about  1837. 

Mound  Chapel  United  Brethren  church  was  erected  about  1875:  was 
thirty  by  forty  feet:  located  three  and  one-half  miles  north  of  Perrysville. 

Liberty  class  was  organized  in  1878  by  Re\-.  Henr\-  Xorlan  \\  ith  sixteen 

At  Gessie  the  United  Brethren  people  were  organized  in  1879  by  Rev. 
F.  E.  Penny,  of  Danville,  Illinois.  Among  the  earlier  ])astors  in  charge  were 
Revs.  J-  A.  Smith,  J.  Knowles,  Kaufman,  S.  C.  Zook,  J.  R.  Horner.  .\  church 
edifice  was  erected  by  the  Chri.stians  about  1877,  a  frame  t\\  enty-four  b)-  forty 
feet,  costing  one  thousand  dollars,  and  in  1870  they  sold  to  the  United  Breth- 



The  first  iMethodist  organization  in  X'erniillion  county  was  effected  some 
time  previous  to  1830,  at  the  house  of  John  \'annest,  the  tirst  settler  in  the 
county.  The  class  then  comprised,  besides  Mr.  Vannest  and  his  half- 
brother,  George  Rush,  James  and  Amos  and  Joseph  Reeder  and  the  Brannon 
family.  The  minister,  who  walked  his  rounds  every  four  weeks,  was  of  that 
good  and  old-fashioned  Methodist  type  of  ministers  always  loved  by  his  fol- 
lowers. Revs.  Smitli  and  ]\Ic(iinnis  were  among  the  zealous  preachers  of 
that  early  day.  Itinerant  Methodist  ministers  of  pioneer  times  were  noted 
for  their  energy  and  daring  in  threading  the  wild  woods  and  prairies  in  search 
of  the  isolated  settler,  for  the  purpose  of  preaching  to  him  the  gospel  and  of 
organizing  classes  as  soon  as  he  could  find  enough  to  meet,  coming  from  far 
and  near.  The  early  history  of  these  various  Methodist  classes  has  become 
lost  with  the  shuffle  of  passing  years,  and  we  are  obliged  to  leap  forward  in 
imagination  over  a  half  century  in  the  history  made  by  faithful  men 
and  women,  who  first  planted  the  good  seeds  of  Methodism,  the  fruits  of 
which  this  generation  and  those  yet  unborn  are  and  shall  reap  from  great 
spiritual  gifts. 

Coming  down  to  1887  it  is  learned  that  the  society  at  Clinton  comprised 
ninety-four  members.  The  class  leader  was  then  L.  H.  Beckman;  stewards, 
James  M.  Hayes  and  Robert  Allen.  The  pastor  was  Rev.  J.  B.  Combs.  The 
circuit  was  in  the  Greencastle  district.  Northwestern  Indiana  conference,  with 
Rev.  A.  A.  Gee,  of  Greencastle.  as  presiding  elder.  As  lo  a  house  of  worship 
it  may  be  stated  that  the  Methodists  here  passed  from  the  log  cabin  residence 
and  the  school  house  to  a  frame  church,  erected  mainly  \)y  the  Presbyterians 
in  1831 ;  and  next  to  a  frame  building,  thirty-eight  by  sixty  feet,  built  about 
1852,  at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  four  hundred  dollars.  Again  in  1883  an  im- 
posing brick  edifice  was  erected,  forty  b\'  eighty  feet  in  ground  measurements, 
at  a  cost  of  six  thousand  fi\'e  hundred  dollars.  This  building,  w  ith  some  al- 
terations, is  still  doing  service. 

Toronto  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized  in  Februarv,  1S53. 
by  Rev.  John  Lach,  who  died  in  1867.  .\mong  the  first  members  were  John 
Jenks  and  family,  William  Jordan  and  wife.  Almeda  Jenks.  John  R.  ^Vishard 
and  wife,  Mrs.  Tiller  Jenks  and  a  few  more.  In  1875  a  great  and  sweeping 
revival  was  held  by  Rev.  Jacob  Musser.  In  1887  the  church  had  a  meml>er- 
ship  of  sixty,, with  Stephen  Jenks  as  class  leader.  Services  were  then  held  in 
the  Pre.=bvterian  church  b\-  Re\'.  \\'^illiam  Sniitli. 


At  Hillsdale  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized  July  ii, 
l88o,  by  Rev.  Thomas  Bartlett,  with  the  following-  memliership :  John  W. 
Casebeer,  class  leader  (.still  living),  S.  R.  James,  Matilda  James,  Margaret 
Owens,  Dr.  E.  Mack,  Mrs.  Mack,  Martha  Strowbridge,  Ella  Casebeer,  A.  B. 
Casebeer,  Sarah  Wilson,  Mary  McLaughlin,  Jane  Williamson,  Wallace 
Thompson.  Mrs.  Thompson,  Elizabeth  Newell.  R.  Wilson.  Thomas  J.  Will- 
iamson, Bertie  Casebeer,  Billy  Ponton,  Charles  Bassett  and  IMrs.  Mary 

A  fine  frame  building  was  erected,  thirty-four  by  forty  feet,  costing  one 
thousand  six  hundred  and  fifty  dollars,  in  1883-84.  principally  by  the  dona- 
tions of  "Sister  Bricker."  The  ground  was  donated  by  2\Irs.  Mary  (iibson. 
The  first  pastor  here  was  Rew  J.  V.  McDaniels.  Following  him  came  Revs. 
E.  R.  Johnson,  Joy,  J.  T.  Woods,  W.  A.  Smith.  Preaching  was  had  on  alter- 
nate weeks.  The  membership  in  1887  was  twent}--fi\-e.  The  class  leader  was 
at  that  date  William  Tincher. 

One  of  the  oldest  societies  of  this  denomination  was  the  old  Salem  Metho- 
dist Episcopal  church,  one  mile  north  of  Summit  Grove,  where  preaching 
after  this  faith  was  had  by  Rev.  Chamberlain  in  1821-22.  The  next  preacher 
was  Rev.  Dr.  William  James,  a  Virginian,  who  came  to  this  count)-  in  October. 
1822,  when  he  preached  in  the  log  barn  of  John  Helt.  and  later  in  a  small 
log  cabin  school  house  with  split-pole  seats.  He  preached  and  practiced  medi- 
cine until  1826,  when  he  started  for  New  Orleans  with  a  boat  load  of  corn, 
and  died  en  route.  The  next  minister  was  Rev.  \\'arner,  of  Parke  county, 
who  organized  the  class  in  the  spring  of  1828,  in  the  log  school  house  on 
Kelt's  prairie,  under  the  name  of  the  "Helt's  Prairie  Class."  Samuel  R^ar- 
son  and  wife  were  the  principal  members.  Others  were  John  Helt  and  wife, 
Samuel  Rush  and  wife.  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Helt,  Mrs.  Mary  Helt.  lulmund  James 
and  wife,  Collon  James  and  John  James  and  wife.  These  faithful  followers 
met  at  the  school  house  and  at  the  house  of  Samuel  Rush  until  1S46,  when 
they  erected  a  frame  house  at  the  center  of  section  22,  township  15,  range  9 
west.  In  1878  this  building  was  sold  and  a  commodious  brick  structure 
erected  on  the  old  foundation,  about  thirty-two  by  sixtv  feet,  at  a  cost  of 
two  thousand  eight  hundred  and  thirty-eight  dollars.  In  1888  there  were 
more  than  one  hundred  members  in  good  standing  and  serxices  were  held 
every  other  Sabbath.  The  i)astor  was  then  Rev.  ^^'.  A.  Smith  and  the  class 
leaders  James  Harrington,  James  A.  Miller,  \^'right  James.  INIartin  Harper 
and  Frank  Helt. 

Spring  Hill  class  was  organized  in  1834  in  the  house  of  Joel  Blakeslev. 
with  Samuel  Rush  and  wife.  Joel  Blakesley  and  wife,  Zachariah  I).   James  and 



wife,  Jane  Ford,  Sarah  Ponton,  Stephen  Plarrington  and  wife.  \\'iiham 
Kearns  and  wife,  Lydia  Jackson,  Enoch  White  and  wife,  Martha  Ponton, 
Betsey  Ponton,  and  Nathaniel  Barnes  and  wife.  In  1835  they  built  a  hewed- 
log  house,  near  the  center  of  section  10,  township  15,  range  9,  which  they 
used  for  several  years.  The  class  was  then  styled  "Goshen."  They  next 
moved  to  the  school  house  a  half  mile  to  the  north.  In  1879  they  built,  at  a 
cost  of  one  thousand  seven  hundred  and  seventy-five  dollars,  a  frame  church 
thirtv  bv  forty  feet,  and  in  1888  had  a  membership  of  about  thirt\-.  At  that 
date  the  society  was  known  as  Spring  Hill. 

.\sbury  chapel  was  organized  as  early  as  1830.  named  for  old  Bishop 
Asburv.  One  of  the  first  ministers  there  was  Rev.  DeLap.  Services  were 
held  at  private  houses  until  a  frame  church  was  erected  on  the  southeast 
quarter  of  section  36.  township  16,  range  10  west,  in  1850.  A  most  powerful 
revival  was  held  in  1852,  under  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Arthur  Badley,  who 
subsequentl}-  removed  to  Iowa.  Other  pastors  were  Revs.  J.  W.  Parrett, 
Shaw,  Thomas  Bartlett,  Salisbury,  Clark  Skinner,  McDaniel,  Wood,  Barnard. 
Nebeker,  Clark  Skinner,  Morrison  and  E.  R.  Johnson.  Later  the  class  did  not 
prosper  and  finally  went  down. 

The  Center  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized  about  1837  at  the 
home  of  James  AVishard,  where  services  were  had  many  years.  In  1853  a 
commodious  frame  structure  was  erected,  costing  about  one  thousand  four 
hundred  dollars.     In  1887  the  society  had  a  membership  of  ninety-se\-en. 

In  Helt  town.ship  ^lethodism  has  flourished  from  the  day.  .\t 
Dana  the  society  was  organized  in  1879  by  Rev.  Daniel  Morrison,  of  the 
Greencastle  district.  Among  the  first  pastors  will  be  recalled  Re\-s.  l^^lijah 
Johnson,  J.  C.  AIcDaniels,  Woods,  William  Smith.  The  society  in  1887  had 
a  membership  of  sixty,  an  increase  of  twenty  over  the  original  number.  A 
house  of  worship  was  erected  in  1882,  at  a  of,  including  the  lots,  one 
thousand  eight  hundred  dollars.  The  present  magnificent  pressed  brick  struc- 
ture was  built  in  1906  and  is  among  the  finest,  if  not  the  very  best,  within  the 

Lebanon  Alethodist  Episcopal  church,  east  of  Quaker  Hill,  was  organized 
at  a  very  early  day.  In  1887  it  had  a  membership  of  thirty-five.  A  frame 
building  was  provided  which  was  thirty  by  thirty-six  feet  in  size. 

Vermillion  Chapel  Methodist  Episcopal  church,  three  and  a  half  miles 
southwest  of  Newport,  erected  its  building  about  1847.  ^^'^^  used  until  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  eighties,  when  it  was  sold  and  a  new  one  built  at  a  cost  of 
one  thousand  eight  hundred  dollars. 

At  Eugene,  Methodism  had  an  early  planting,  it  being  on  the  frontier, 


and  it  naturally  endured  many  hardships  for  long  years.  The  records  ha\-e 
long-  since  perished,  but  the  true  spirit  of  Methodism  still  prevails. 

At  Cayuga  this  denomination  built  their  first  church  in  1887-88. 

At  Newport,  the  county  seat  of  justice,  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church 
existed  in  the  very  early  days  of  the  town's  history,  the  details  of  which  are 
now  hard  to  bring  to  tangible  light  for  historic  record.  In  time  they  built  a 
church  building,  and  when  it  had  outli\ed  its  usefulness  it  was  sold  and  torn 
away.  In  185 1  another  edifice  was  erected,  and  later  an  addition  of  eighteen 
feet  was  added.  In  1887  the  societ\-  had  a  membership  of  one  hundred  and 
seventy-five.     A  fine  parsonage  was  built  in  1882. 

At  Perrysville  the  history  of  Methodism  is  traced  through  the  pioneer 
period  down  to  the  present,  it  never  having  died  out  for  lack  of  interest.  In 
1887  it  was  stated  that  the  loss  of ^  records  made  it  impossible  to  give  a  clear 
conception  of  all  the  transactions  of  the  little  band  that  first  planted  the  good 
seeds  in  that  neighborhood.  At  the  last  date  mentioned  the  church  had  a 
membership  of  one  hundred  and  thirty-three.  The  class  leaders  were  then 
B.  O.  Carpenter  and  J.  F.  Compton.  Several  social  and  auxiliary  .societies 
ha\-e  branched  ofT  from  the  parent  church  at  Perrys\-ille.  In  1843  ^  brick 
church  was  built,  valued  at  three  thousand  dollars,  forty- four  by  fifty-two  feet 
in  size.     It  was  located  in  the  southwest  central  portion  of  the  town. 

In  Vermillion  county  there  is  only  one  African  Methodist  Episcopal 
church,  that  located  at  Clinton,  having  a  membership  of  t\ventA'-two. 


The  subjoined  is  a  list  of  all  tlie  cluirches  of  this  denomination  in  \'er- 
million  county  in  1912,  as  near  as  can  be  determined  from  the  minutes  of  the 
last  conference : 

Clinton,  J.  C.  Martin,  pastor;  salary,  $1,000;  membership,  2~H:  church 
and  parsonage  valued  at  $9,000. 

Dana,  C.  E.  Beebe,  pastor;  salary,  $1,000;  membership,  345;  three 
churches,  valued,  with  parsonages,  at  $14,400. 

Fairview  Park,  A.  E.  Kester,  pastor;  salary,  $800;  membership,  386; 
value  of  church  and  parsonage  property,  $13,500. 

Newport,  A.  M.  Hagenbook,  pa.stor;  salary,  $800;  meml^ership.  276; 
value  of  church  property,  $10,500. 

Perrysville,  H.  N.  Calton,  pastor:  salary,  $800;  membership,  282;  val- 
uation of  church  and  parsonage,  $7,600. 


There  are  some  country  charges  suppHed  from  the  above  central  stations 
of  tlie  society.     But  the  above  are  the  churches  listed  in  the  latest  conference 


In  these  days  when,  in  the  Methodist  economy,  the  title  of  presiding 
elder  has  been  changed  to  that  of  district  superintendent,  it  may  be  of  interest 
to  know  something  of  the  character  of  the  old-time  circuit  riders,  and  for 
this  purpose  here  will  be  inserted  a  paragraph  from  the  writings  of  L.  O. 
Bishop,  in  a  series  entitled  "Fifty  Years  .\go."  He  says:  "S.  P.  Colvin  was 
the  minister  here  w  hen  Fort  Sumter  was  fired  upon  and  let  me  say  right  here 
that  the  old-tin^e  circuit  rider  certainly  earned  his  salary.  The  Clinton  cir- 
cuit then  included  Clinton,  Salem,  Centenary,  Center  and  Trinity.  There 
was,  as  a  result,  something  doing  for  the  minister  all  the  time.  They  were 
ministers  indeed.  Colvin  was  a  broad-minded  man,  a  speaker  of  high  ability, 
intensely  devoted  to  his  country,  a  fine  companion,  both  in  the  home  circle  as 
well  as  in  public  meetings.  And  as  a  fisherman  and  a  hunter  he  had  no  equals. 
Many  a  time  1  have  seen  him  and  some  of  our  family  (they  were  all  Metho- 
dists or  Presbyterians)  go  out  on  a  hunting  trip  and  bring  back  a  ten-foot  pole 
full  of  game,  so  loaded  that  it  required  the  two  men  to  carry  it  on  their 
shoulders.  .And  such  times  as  everybody  would  have.  The  cooks  got  busy 
and  built  a  game  pot  pie,  a  wonderful  creation  of  the  culinary  art.  And  the 
minister  and  the  class  leader,  and  the  neighbors  far  and  near  would  be  in- 
vited to  come  in  and  enjoy  the  feast.  And  they  sat  down,  some  in  calico  and 
some  in  gingham,  few  possibly  had  something  finer,  but  the  quality  of  the 
clothes  made  no  difference  in  their  happiness.  And  the  jokes  flew  thick  and 
fast  and  hearty,  robust  laughter  shook  their  sides,  and  then  they  would  lean 
back  from  the  table  and  roar  with  laughter  over  some  bright  shaft  of  wit  or  a 
skyrocket  of  humor  that  someone  had  let  loose.  And  then  they  sat  up  to  the 
table  and  went  at  it  again.  I  lost  my  religion  at  these  spreads  by  always  having 
to  wait  until  second  or  third  table  and  then  pick  the  bones,  if  the  preacher 
and  his  crowd  had  left  any  to  pick.  But  these  feasts  were  very  much  like  the 
miracle  of  fishes  and  loaves.  If  there  appeared  to  be  any  scarcity  of  game 
pie,  or  fried  chicken,  roasting  ears,  dressing,  mashed  potatoes,  pie,  cake  and 
float,  etc.,  etc.,  and  more  etc.,  somehow  there  was  always  enough  and  some  to 
spare  and  e\-erybody  was  satisfied." 



The  old  frame  Methodist  Episcopal  church  of  1861  on  South  Main  street 
was  torn  down  in  about  1883  and  the  site  was  then  occupied  b\'  a  residence  be- 
longing to  Mrs.  Clara  Salyards.  Mr.  Bishop  continues :  "On  this  particular 
Sunday  that  I  am  speaking  of  there  fell  upon  the  people  of  Clinton  such  a 
deep,  intense  feeling  of  an  impending  crisis  that  when  Mr.  Colvin  spoke  at 
times  the  faintest  sigh  could  be  heard  over  the  room,  so  profound  was  the 
silence.  Many  a  1)oy  sat  there  that  Sunda}-  who  was  shortly  to  be  enrolled  in 
the  greatest  army  the  world  has  ever  seen,  and  to  take  part  in  mighty  move- 
ments on  the  chess  board  of  the  nation. 

■'Pretty  soon  we  began  to  miss  the  boys  from  their  accustomed  places. 
For  it  will  be  remembered  that  those  days  there  were  about  seventy-five  per 
cent,  of  the  people  church  members  and  ninety  per  cent,  attended  church — not 
so  now-a-days !  There  were  vacancies  behind  counters  and  school  desks,  on 
farms,  in  shops,  at  carpenter  benches,  and  everywhere.  It  seemed  as  if  every 
home  in  Clinton  had  given  up  one  or  more  of  its  adult  members.  Bravely 
they  marched  to  the  front,  behind  the  Stars  and  Stripes,  a  martial  band  play- 
ing in  stout-hearted  tones,  "Jay  Bird,"  or  "The  Girl  I  Left  Behind  Me." 
When  they  had  all  gone  to  the  front  there  fell  upon  the  homes  of  Clinton 
such  a  pall  of  silent  anguish,  such  intense  anxiety,  that  the  wonder  was  that 
the  mothers,  fathers,  sisters  and  sweethearts  at  home  did  not  go  mad  from 
the  very  terror  of  the  situation. 

"Indeed,  there  is  but  one  description  in  all  the  literature  that  T  ha\e 
read  that  aptly  and  tersely  describes  the  conditions  at  liome  during  those  four 
long  years.  That  sentence  was  the  prophecy  uttered  nearh  two  thousand 
years  ago  by  the  Nazarene,  who,  looking  ahead  and,  seeing  with  god-like 
clearness  of  vision  all  effects  following  from  their  causes,  exclaimed:  'And 
there  shall  come  such  times  as  never  was'." 


Hopewell  Friends  church  was  organized  at  an  early  da\-  in  Vermillion 
township,  this  county,  and  was  of  the  same  "monthly  meeting"  as  the  one  at 
Pilot  Grove,  Illinois.  In  1887  it  had  a  membership  of  two  hundred  and  thirty. 
Ministers  James  P.  Haworth,  William  F.  Henderson  and  Ruth  R.  Ellis  all 
sen'ed  acceptably  and  well.  The  overseers  at  Hopewell  ("Quaker  Hill)  were 
Jonathan  E.  and  Kate  E.  Ellis  and  Albert  and   Tane  Henderson.   Dinah  T. 


Henderson  was  recorder.  The  church  or  "meeting  house"'  was  buiU  in  1873 
at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  two  hundred  and  fifty  dollars. 

The  Friends  are  not  numerous  enough  here  now  to  maintain  many  regu- 
lar meetings.  Many  of  these  people  have  long  since  remoxed  to  other  sections 
of  the  country.  No  better  people,  ho\\e\er,  e\'er  graced  any  community  than 
these  sincere  and  conscientious  men  and  women  styled  "Quakers,"  but  who 
prefer  their  right  name.  Friends. 

The  Friends,  however,  in  Eugene  and  Helt  townships  still  have  a  good, 
thrifty  settlement  and  maintain  meetings  at  what  is  known  as  Hopewell,  near 
Quaker ;  at  Henderson  chapel  and  Lindsley,  Eugene  township. 


A  Universalist  church  was  organized  at  Perrysville  in  1842,  and  after- 
ward erected  a  house  of  worship,  a  frame  structure,  thirty-six  by  fifty  feet  in 
size,  but  being  unable  to  pay  for  it,  they  finally,  in  1850,  sold  it  to  the  Presby- 
terians and  subsequently  disbanded.  They  numbered  as  high  as  fifty-fi\e 
members  at  one  time.  Among  the  ministers  who  serx-ed  them  were  Revs.  K. 
Manford,  the  celebrated  editor,  a  resident  of  Terre  Haute:  B.  F.  Foster,  of 
Indianapolis;  George  McClure,  of  Dayton,  Ohio,  and  a  Air.  Babcock.  The 
organizing  minister  was  Rev.  ]\Iarble,  of  Fountain  county,  who  preached 
once  a  month  for  one  year.  The  leading  members  were  Robert  J.  Gessie 
("trustee  and  mortgagee")  ,  Dr.  Thornton  S.  Daxidson.  Dr.  Porter,  Messrs. 
Lawless  and  Watt.  They  conducted  a  flourishing  Sunday  school.  The  writer 
knows  of  no  other  societies  of  this  denomination  within  this  county.  In  fact 
the  belief  is  not  as  popular  in  any  part  of  the  country  as  it  -was  many  decades 
ago.  The  Unitarians  having  taken  man}-  of  the  members  o\er  into  their  fold. 
Every  community,  however,  now  has  Uni\ersalists  in  lielief,  but  not  in  suffi- 
cient numbers  to  organize  and  carry  forward  a  church  w  ork,  as  do  other  sects. 


In  the  early  missionar_\'  days  of  Clinton  some  thirt)-  years  ago,  there  were 
very  few  Catholic  families  in  Parke  or  Vermillion  counties,  and  Rev.  T. 
O'Donaghue,  brother  of  the  present  bishop  of  Louisville,  was  entrusted  with 
the  spiritual  guidance  of  a  parish  which  was  then  almost  a  wilderness.  In 
later  years  conditions  began  to  improve,  but  not  enough  to  warrant  the  es- 
tabli.shment  of  a  parish.     Clinton  accordingly  remained  a  mission  of  Monte- 


zuma  till  1889,  when  Rev.  Joseph  T.  Baur  was  commissioned  by  Rt.  Rev. 
Francis  Silas,  bishop  of  Indianapolis,  to  organize  a  parish. 

Coming  to  Clinton  in  Noxemlier  of  the  same  year  Father  Baur  first  i)f- 
fered  up  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  mass  in  the  home  of  Peter  Lamlj  at  315  Xorth 
Main  .street.  There  the  faithful  continued  to  as.semble  for  divine  worship  till 
the  vear  1892.  when  the  old  Hoffman  residence,  now  No.  303  Water  street, 
was  purchased  and  converted  into  a  church.  It  did  not  hjng  meet  the  recjuire- 
ments  of  the  growing  congregation,  however,  and  the  jiresent  proi)ert\-  at 
Sixth  and  Nebeker  streets  was  secured  and  St.  Patrick's  church  erected  in  the 
spring  of  1894. 

The  wonderful  resources  of  the  Clinton  coal  fields  and  the  progressi\-e 
spirit  of  its  business  men  began  about  this  period  to  attract  considerable  at- 
tention throughout  the  states.  As  a  consecjuence,  during  the  pastorate  of 
Re\'.  Walter  J.  Cronin,  1900- 1906,  \e\-y  many  people  came  seeking  employ- 
ment in  the  mines.  Those  who  were  successful  decided  to  make  their  future 
home  in  the  village  on  the  Wabash.  Among  them  were  foreign  representa- 
ti\-es  of  nineteen  different  nations  of  the  world. 

So  \ast  had  the  congregation  become  in  1906  that  Re\'.  William  A. 
Maher.  who  succeeded  Father  Cronin  in  June  of  the  same  year,  was  imme- 
diately impressed  with  the  necessitv  of  a  larger  church  and  a  school  for  the 
dissemination  of  Catholic  learning.  Through  his  ability  to  speak  seven  of  the 
foreign  languages  he  looked  forward  to  a  spirit  of  greater  religious  unity,  and 
so  began,  in  1908,  the  erection  of  our  present  beautiful  church,  modeled  after 
the  cathedral  of  Thurles  in  Ireland.  It  is  a  picture  of  beauty,  in  stone  and 
brown  pressed  brick,  designed  by  Gault  &  Gault,  of  Terre  Haute,  and  was 
dedicated  to  God's  holy  ser\ice  June  13,  1909. 

The  cost  of  the  church  was  about  seventeen  thousand  dollars.  The  Sis- 
ters' school,  now  under  charge  of  Sisters  of  St.  Frances,  from  Oldenberg. 
Indiana,  has  an  attendance  of  about  three  hundred  pupils,  while  the  congre- 
gation of  the  church  numbers  four  thousand  souls.  The  total  \ahie  of  this 
church  property  is  estimated  at  thirty  thousand  dollars. 

Father  James  L.  Bolin  assumed  charge  of  the  parish  in  December,  1910. 
and  in  the  following  year  began  the  erection  of  the  present  school  building, 
now  in  charge  of  the  Sisters,  six  in  all.  Father  Bolin  was  succeeded  1)\-  the 
jiresent  jiastor,  h'ather  A\'illiam  F.  Keefe. 




This  denomination,  sometimes  known  as  the  Church  of  Christ,  and  many 
years  ago  as  Disciples  or  CampbelHtes,  at  one  time  had  a  strong  following  in 
Vermillion  county,  but  it  is  not  so  large  today.  There  are,  however,  some 
societies  of  this  sect,  including  those  at  Cayuga,  Dana,  St.  Bernice,  State  Line 
society,  and  Clinton,  but  none  but  the  Dana  church  has  a  regular  pastor  at 
this  time,  December,  191 2.  There  are  houses  of  worship  in  each  of  the  towns 
named.  At  Dana  there  are  thirty-five  members;  the  pastor  is  Re\-.  J.  W. 
Parks,  who  came  in  19 12,  and  cares  for  the  State  Line  church. 

In  Clinton  there  are  also  a  few  families  of  this  denomination,  but  who 
are  known  as  the  "Antis,"  as  they  are  radically  opposed  to  the  use  of  church 
organs  and  many  of  the  modern  societies  that  are  known  in  other  religious 
societies  as  auxiliaries,  such  as  Sunday  schools,  Epworth  Leagues  and  Christ- 
ian Endeavors.  They  simply  take  the  plain  teachings  of  the  New  Testament, 
without  credit  or  form  of  any  sort,  and  they,  too,  style  themselves  "Christian," 
while  many  of  the  other  of  like  general  doctrinal  belief  call  themselves  the 
"Church  of  Christ,"  or  "Christ  Church." 

The  Clinton  Christian  church  (first  church)  was  organized  in  i8<S9  in 
Crabb's  Hall  by  the  Rev.  W.  W.  Jacobs,  of  Kansas,  Illinois,  and  during  his 
stay  with  them  the  society  prospered  well,  but  after  his  departure  from  their 
leadership  they  declined  until  1894,  when  Rev.  H.  M.  Brooks,  of  Paris,  Illi- 
nois, appeared  on  the  scene  and  reorganized  the  church.  It  was  in  February 
of  that  year  that  their  church  house  was  dedicated.  It  is  a  good  brick  struc- 
ture located  on  the  corner  of  Seventh  vind  Blackman  streets,  .\mong  the 
ministers  who  ha\e  served  here  all  ha\e  done  well  their  ]>art  toward  building 
up  the  church,  which  now  has  a  menil)ership  of  about  two  hundred  and  fifty, 
who  are  daily  trying  to  magnify  the  Christ,  their  Lord. 


The  United  Brethren  Union  church,  at  Cayuga,  was  organized  March 
18,  1906,  by  Rev.  C.  Long,  with  D.  L.  Sollers,  deacon;  O.  S.  Harvey,  steward; 
Harry  Kiger.  clerk.  In  1909  a  neat  frame  church  was  erected  at  a  cost  of 
one  thousand  dollars.  The  membership  of  this  church  is  now  eighty-five. 
Re\-.  John  Wells,  of  Clinton,  is  the  present  pastor  in  charge.  The  new  church 
building  is  ])ro\-ided  with  a  good  bell  and  church  organ. 

This  denomination  is  also  represented  in  this  countv  at  Cromersxille  and 




W'rmillion  county  has  the  following-  Ma.sonic  lodges,  all  prospering,  in 
the  autumn  of  1912:  At  Clinton,  Jerusalem  Lodge  No.  99;  at  Newport, 
Newport  Lodge  No.  209;  at  Perrysville.  L'nity  Lodge  No.  344:  at  Cayuga, 
Cayuga  Lodge  No.  584:  at  Dana,  Asbury  Lodge  No.  320. 

At  Clinton,  Freemasonry  was  first  instituted  prior  to  1843.  hut  interest 
in  its  workings  declined  and  the  charter  was  finally  surrendered.  Jerusalem 
Lodge  No.  99  was  chartered  May  29,  1850,  and  has  e\er  since  been  kept 
ali\-e.  The  charter  members  of  this,  the  first  lodge  in  the  county,  were: 
Sylvester  Redfield,  worshipful  master,  who  later  removed  to  Nebraska ;  John 
X.  Perkins,  Hiram  Barnes.  John  R.  Whitcomb,  Benjamin  R.  Whitcomb, 
William  S.  Price,  James  Gazsoway.  James  ]\[cCulloch,  Nathan  Sidwell.  J.  J. 
]\loore  and  William  Barrick.  The  menibership  of  this  lodge  in  191 2  was  one 
hundred  and  twenty-two,  and  its  electi\-e  officers  were  then  :  J.  X.  Frist,  wor- 
■shipful  master:  Mahalon  Stark,  senior  warden:  Ceorge  Boatman,  junior  war- 
den: I\'an  W.  Scott,  secretary:  Arthur  B.  Roberts,  treasiu-er :  Ilenr}"  .\dani- 
son,  senior  deacon. 

The  Alasonic  hall  of  Clinton  was  erected  in  1902  and  is  \-aluc(l  at  about 
ten  thousand  dollars. 

At  Dana,  Asbury  Lodge  No.  320  was  chartered  May  24.  1865,  by  the 
following  charter  members :  Morris  Hager,  John  Aye,  Thomas  S.  Hood, 
James  Osbofn,  Selah  Temple,  Thomas  A.  Edmundston,  John  Bilsland,  Henry 
Jordan,  William  F.  Bales,  W^illiam  F.  Ford.  The  lodge  was  first  organized  at 
Bono,  now  called  Toronto.  Its  ])resent  membership  is  se\-ent_\--eight.  The 
lodge  was  built  as  the  second  floor  of  a  building  in  Dana,  the  rooms  l)eing 
especially  prepared  for  lodge  room  uses,  and  the  property  is  valued  at  one 
thousand  two  hundred  dollars.  The  officers  in  the  fall  of  191 2  were  as  fol- 
lows :  James  R.  Douglas,  \\orshipful  master :  Da\is  S.  WillianLs,  senior 
warden:  S.  E.  Scott,  junior  warden:  H.  L.  Fillinger,  treasurer;  C.  B.  Jackson, 
secretary;  F.  B.  Lowrey,  senior  deacon;  Jacob  S.  Randall,  junior  deacon; 
E.  B.  Thompson,  t}'ler. 


'Xevvport  Lodge  Xo.  J09  was  instituted  May  26,  1857.  and  its  first  officers 
were:  Thomas  C.  W.  Sales,  worshipful  nia.ster ;  Abel  Sexton,  senior  warden; 
ilenrv  F.  Jackson,  junior  warden.  The  lodge  now  has  a  membership  of  forty, 
and  its  last  officers  are:  Charles  X.  Fultz,  worshipful  master;  John  A. 
Hughes,  senior  warden;  M.  B.  Carter,  junior  warden;  H.  V.  Nixon,  senior 
deacon;  Joseph  McCormick,  junior  deacon;  Jesse  Fultz,  secretary;  V.  R. 
Nixon,  treasurer.  The  lodge  built  its  present  hall  about  1900  at  a  cost  of  one 
thousand  t\\  o  hundred  dollars  and  later  bought  the  second  story  of  the  build- 
ing adjoining,  so  that  it  nowr  owns  the  whole  second  Boor  of  the  two-story 
brick  building  situated  just  west  of  the  court  house  on  the  west  side  of  the 
square,  being  about  forty-four  by  fifty  feet  and  divided  into  a  large  room,  and 
two  rooms  on  the  south  which  are  used  for  a  dining  room  and  kitchen. 

There  is  also  Eastern  Star  Chapter  No.  236  in  connection.  The  present 
worth)-  matron  is  I'^annie  Carter;  worthy  patron,  Charles  X".  Fultz;  associate 
matron,  Edna  Hollingsworth ;  conductress,  Goldie  Fultz ;  associate  conduct- 
ress, Xellie  Wait. 

-Vt  Eugene,  this  county,  a  Masonic  lodge  was  instituted  in  1847,  with 
about  forty-seven  members.  Among  the  first  officers  were :  C.  M.  Comages, 
worshipful  master;  Harvey  Skelton,  senior  warden;  Dr.  R.  AI.  Waterman. 
junior  warden ;  George  Sears,  secretary ;  Anthony  Fable,  treasurer.  After 
about  ten  years  this  lodge  went  down  on  account  of  remo\-als  to  side  towns 
and  newly  organized  lodges,  such  as  were  formetl  at  Xewport,  Lodi  and 
Perrysville.  Harv'ey  Skelton  was  the  last  master  of  the  Eugene  lodge  as  above 

With  the  springing  into  existence  of  Cayuga,  the  lodge  was  moved  from 
Eugene  there  and  now  is  in  a  prosperous  condition,  but  no  facts  were  fur- 
nished the  compiler. 

At  Perrysville,  Unity  Lodge  No.  114  was  organized  about  1850,  at  least 
that  early,  and  increased  to  thirty-four  members.  The  lodge  flourished  until 
May,  1859,  when  its  charter  was  surrendered.  Xothing  further  was  accom- 
plished in  Ma.sonic  circles  until  ^Nlay  29,  1867,  after  the  close  of  the  Civil  war 
period,  when  Unity  Lodge  X^o.  344  was  instituted  with  the  following  charter 
officers:  W.  B.  Moffatt,  worshipful  master;  James  Hemphill,  senior  warden; 
Jacob  S.  Stephens,  junior  warden;  William  Jarrauld.  secretary;  Robert  E. 
Townsley,  treasurer;  H.  M.  Townsley,  senior  deacon;  John  Wolf,  junior 
deacon ;  Thomas  Scott,  tyler.  The  present  officers  are  Alexander  Grubbs, 
worshipful  master ;  Roy  G.  Jester,  senior  warden ;  Arthur  Blunt,  junior  war- 
den;  Robert  O.  Jones,  treasurer;  J.  F.  Compton,  secretary.  Thev  own  their 
own  lodge  room. 




Of  Chapter  No.  125,  Royal  .Vrch  Masons,  at  Clinton,  it  may  be  stated 
that  its  charter  was  revoked  b\-  the  grand  chapter  in  November,  1912,  and  now 
there  are  no  chapters  of  Royal  Arch  Masons  within  Vermillion  county. 

The  only  commandery  of  Knights  Templar  in  this  county  is  at  Clinton. 


The  earliest  lodge  of  Odd  I'ellows  organized  in  A'ermillion  county  was 
Charitv  Lodge  No.  32,  chartered  at  Perrysville  April  20,  i84d.  The  first 
officers  were :  Irad  .\lxlill,  noble  grand ;  Charles  Boyles.  \ice  grand :  T.  S. 
Davidson,  secretar}- ;  Thomas  Cushman,  treasurer;  John  Dunlap,  warden; 
C.  N.  Gray,  conductor;  John  A.  Minchell,  recording  secretary.  In  1887  this 
lodge  had  a  membership  of  nineteen;  they  owned  their  own  building  and  had 
property  valued  at  one  thousand  three  hundred  and  forty-eight  dollars.  Dur- 
ing Civil  war  days  this  lodge  was  kept  alive  Ijv  si.x  faithful  members.  Present 
membership  is  forty-seven. 

Highland  Encampment  No.  163  was  instituted  December  7,  1883. 

Rebekah  Lodge  No.  218  was  instituted  July  24,  1882. 

Amant  Lodge  No.  356  was  instituted  November  16,  1870,  with  al)out  a 
dozen  members,  which  had  increased  to  seventy-five  by  1887.  The  present 
membership  is  one  hundred  and  seventy-three. 

Unity  Lodge  No.  827,  a  newer  lodge,  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred 
and  five. 

Clinton  Encampment  No.  143  was  chartered  Ma\'  16,  1876. 

Vermillion  Lodge  No.  182,  Rebekah  degree,  was  organized  July  9,  1877. 

Setting  Sun  Lodge  No.  583  was  organized  April  2"],  1881,  at  Cayuga, 
with  seventeen  members,  and  the  following  officers :  William  H.  Hood,  noble 
grand;  E.  B.  Johnson,  vice  grand;  H.  O.  Peters,  treasurer;  V).  ^^'.  Bell,  secre- 
tary.    The  present  membership  is  sixt\--two. 

Dana  Lodge  No.  581  was  organized  February  10.  1881,  with  eighteen 
members,  and  Hiram  Shepard,  noble  grand:  Julius  C.  Gro\es,  vice  grand; 
and  Fred  Rush,  secretary.  The  memljership  of  this  lodge  in  1912  was  rejiort- 
ed  as  one  hundred  and  fifty- four. 

Vermillion  Lodge  No.  594,  at  Newport,  was  instituted  in  the  room  over 
the  furniture  store  of  David  Hopkins  by  Past  Grand  Hiram  Shepard,  under 
a  charter  granted  May  18,  1882,  on  the  ijetition  of  Robert  E.  Stephens,  Lewis 
Shepard,  Thomas  Cushman,  F.  Y .  Wade.  Julius  Groves  and  J.  M.  Tavlor. 
The  first  officers  were:     Lewis  Shepard.  noble  grand:  Robert   F.   Stephens. 



\ice  grand;  Thomas  Cushman,  secretary;  J.  M.  Taylor,  treasurer.  The  lodge 
now  has  a  membership  of  seventy-eight. 

Hope  Lodge  No.  268,  Daughters  of  Rebekah,  was  chartered  November 
18,  1886. 

Vermillion  Lodge  No.  594,  at  Newport,  was  instituted  July  6,  1882.  Its 
first  officers  were :  Robert  E.  Stephens,  noble  grand ;  Thomas  Cushman,  sec- 
retary ;  James  Chipps,  treasurer. 

The  1912  officers  are:  George  Morehead,  noble  grand;  Guy  F.  Newlin, 
vice  grand ;  lies  Morehead,  recording  secretary ;  Edmund  B.  Brown,  financial 
secretary;  James  Chipps,  treasurer:  Bird  H.  Davis,  Ithimer  M.  Casebeer  and 
Fred  D.  Wimsett,  trustees.  The  present  membership  of  this  lodge  is  sixty- 
eight.  Their  hall  was  built  in  1892,  at  a  cost  of  one  thousand  six  hundred 
dollars ;  para])hernalia  and  furniture,  four  hundred  dollars. 

This  lodge  is  always  represented  at  the  grand  lodge,  and  B.  H.  Davis  of 
the  Hoosier  State,  published  at  Newport,  was  appointed  proof-reader  of  the 
grand  lodge  in  1912.  and  had  served  on  the  Daughters  of  Rebekah  committee 
at  a  former  session. 


The  following  show  s  an  account  of  the  Odd  Fellows  lodges  in  Vermillion 
county  according  to  the  191 2  grand  lodge  reports;  also  the  membership  of 
each  .subordinate,  as  well  as  Rebekah  degree,  lodge : 

Charity  Lodge  No-  32  has  forty-seven  members. 

Amant  Lodge  No.  356  has  one  hundred  and  seventy-three  meml:>ers. 

Dana  Lodge  No.  581  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  and  fifty-four. 
.    Setting  Sun  Lodge  No.  583  has  sixty-two  members. 

Vermillion  Lodge  No.  594  has  seventy-eight  members. 

St.  Bernice  Lodge  No.  666  has  one  one  hundred  and  thirty-eight  mem- 

B.  F.  Foster  Lodge  No.  730  has  a  membership  of  seventy-eight. 

Unity  Lodge  No.  827  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  and  five. 

This  gives  a  grand  total  of  eight  hundred  and  thirty-fi\-e  Odd  Fellows  in 
Vermillion  county. 


Clinton.  Vermillion  Lodge  No.  182  has  one  hundred  and  fifty-nine  mem- 

Perry ville  Lodge  No.  218  has  a  memhersliii)  ni  twentv-six. 


Newport,  Hope  Lodge  No.  268  has  thirty-two  members. 
St.  Bernice,  Cohimbia  Lodge  No.  425  has  ninety- four  members. 
Hillsdale  Lodge  No.  573  has  ninety-nine  members. 
Cayuga,  Venus  Lodge  No.  515  has  nine  members^ 
Dana,  Ruth  Lodge  No.  634  has  sixty-five  members. 
This  gives  a  grand  total  of  membership  in  the  Rebekah  degree  of  four 
hundred  and  eighty-four. 


Vermillion  Lodge  No.  113,  of  the  order  of  Knights  of  Pythias,  was 
organized  December  31,  1884,  with  si.xteen  charter  members  and  the  first 
officers  were:  Dr.  James  T.  Henderson,  chancellor  commander:  F.  S.  Smith, 
vice  commander;  L.  .\.  Morgan,  master  of  finance;  M.  J.  Rudy,  master  of 
exchequer;  D.  H.  Cade,  keeper  of  records  and  seal;  W.  A.  Collins;  prelate;  G. 
R.  Hicks,  master  at  ai-ms ;  A.  R.  Marlat,  inner  guard ;  E.  A.  Lacy,  outer  guard. 

At  Dana  the  Knights  of  Pythias  have  a  hall  in  conjunction  with  the  Odd 
Fellows  order.    The  lodge  number  is  247. 

At  Clinton  no  data  was  furnished,  but  it  is  known  that  this  order  lias 
Hazel  Lodge  No.  217,  with  C.  C.  Foley  as  keeper  of  records  and  seal,  and 
Victor  Lodge  No.  553. 

There  are  now  Knights  of  Pythias  lodges  at  Clinton.  Ca\uga,  Dana  and 
Newport,  all  in  a  flourishing  condition.  At  Clinton  there  is  a  Uniform  Rank 
degree  of  this  order;  also  the  Pythian  Sisters. 

Riverside  Lodge  Xo.  242,  at  Newport,  was  instituted  June  4,  1890.  Tlie 
first  officers  were:  Rev.  F.  W.  Gee.  past  commander;  R.  E.  Stephens,  clian- 
cellor  commander;  R.  B.  Sears,  vice  commander;  B.  S.  Aikman,  master  of 
exchequer;  J.  D.  Collett,  master  of  finance;  R.  B.  Van  Allen,  prelate;  W.  J. 
Place,  outer  guard ;  J.  L.  Nelson,  inner  guard ;  T.  J.  Nichols,  master  at  arms ; 
E.  E.  Henson,  keeper  of  records  and  seal. 

The  lodge  now  has  a  membership  of  one  hundred  and  eighteen.  Its 
elective  officers  are:  George  W.  Short,  chancellor  commander;  H.  B.  Aik- 
man, vice  chancellor;  W.  M.  Place,  master  of  exchet|uer:  W.  S.  Brown,  mas- 
ter of  finance;  J.  B.  Butler,  prelate;  Charles  V.  Hughes,  outer  guard;  A. 
Julian,  inner  guard ;  lies  Morehead,  keeper  of  records  and  seal. 

This  lodge  owns  its  own  hall  and  its  cost  was  about  one  thousand  two 
hundred  dollars,  erected  in   1892. 



\\"hile  it  is  impossil:)le  to  record  tlie  names  of  every  man  connected  with 
the  bar  of  Vermillion  count}-,  the  following  list  will  sen-e  a  good  purpose  in 
calling  to  mind  many,  both  dead  and  living,  who  have  practiced  in  the  county. 

In  Clinton  township  the  list  includes  James  R.  Baker,  who,  although  he 
(lid  not  practice  law  long,  should  not  be  omitted.  He  left  the  profession  to 
become  a  Afethodist  Episcopal  minister. 

Lyman  J.  Smith  practiced  here  four  years  and  remoxcd  to  I'aris,  Illinois. 

"Judge"  John  Porter,  who  lived  in  the  country  in  this  township,  fol- 
lowed tbe  law  to  some  extent,  was  a  man  of  good  literary  attainments,  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Legislature,  etc.     He  died  some  time  prior  to  the  Civil  war  period. 

For  about  one  year  prior  to  the  war  a  man  named  Ragan  practiced  law 
at  Clinton. 

Henry  D.  Washburn,  a  native  of  \'ermont,  a  member  of  tbe  noted 
A\'ashburn  family  of  the  old  Green  Mountain  state,  was  born  in  Marcli,  1832, 
coming  to  this  county  about  1850;  taught  school  three  or  four  years,  chiefly 
in  Helt  township,  and  some  at  Newport;  studied  law,  while  teaching,  with 
Thomas  C.  W.  Sale  at  Newport;  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1853,  and  o])ened  an 
office  at  Newport;  was  in  partnershi])  with  M.  P.  Lowry  for  a  time;  elected 
auditor  of  Vermillion  county  in  1854,  serving  one  term;  entered  the  army  as 
cajjtain  of  Company  C,  Eighteenth  Indiana  Infantr)-,  promoted  to  lieutenant- 
colonel,  then  colonel,  and  brexeted  brigadier-general  and  then  majur-general. 
serving  in  all  about  four  years,  first  in  Missouri,  next  in  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac,  then  in  Georgia;  but  in  1864,  before  the  termination  of  the  Civil 
war,  was  elected,  while  a  resident  of  Clinton,  to  the  lower  house  of  Congress, 
against  Daniel  W.  Voorhees,  serving  from  March,  1865,  to  March,  1869.  In 
the  last  year  he  was  appointed  by  President  Grant  to  the  office  of  surveyor- 
general  for  the  territory  of  Montana  and  while  holding  the  office  died  in  Jan- 
uary, T871,  at  Clinton,  lea\ing  a  wife  and  two  children.  Commanding  a  com- 
])any  of  fiftv  men,  he  made  the  first  explorations  of  tbe  now  famous  Yellow- 
stone Park,  in  1870,  in  which  journey  the  exjiosure  brought  on  illness  that 
proved  fatal  to  him.  He  was  a  Methodist,  a  Republican  and  a  member  of  the 
Knights  Templar  degree  of  Masonry. 



Henry  A.  White,  a  native  of  Helt  township,  this  county,  practiced 
law  at  Clinton  a  nnml^er  of  years,  then  moved  to  Kansas. 

M.  P).  Davis,  another  \'ermillion  county  product,  and  a  graduate  of  old 
Asbury  L'niversity,  Greencastle,  was  admitted  to  the  bar  while  a  \-ery  young 
man,  and  was  in  partnership  for  a  sliort  time  with  H.  H.  Conley,  of  Newport. 
In  1885  he  left  for  Beatrice,  Nebraska,  and  there  practiced  law  and  was  con- 
nected with  the  Beatrice  Republican,  a  local  news])aper. 

In  1888  the  lawyers  at  Clinton  were  Daniel  C.  Johnson,  I'latt  Z.  Ander- 
son, Benjamin  R.  \Miitcomb,  I.  H.  Strain  and  Melvin  B.  Davis. 

At  Newport,  the  seat  of  justice,  the  members  of  the  legal  profession  have 
included  these:  Daniel  M.  Jones,  a  native  of  Vermillion  county,  attended 
Wabash  College,  not  quite  completing  his  course ;  he  was  admitted  to  the  bar 
in  1852  to  1853:  was  a  member  of  the  Legislature  in"  1861,  as  a  Republican; 
was  an  acti\  e  partisan,  a  natural  orator,  and  a  shrewd  lawyer,  and  died  in  the 
autumn  of  \^(}j^.  lea\ing  a  widow  and  three  children.  His  wife  was  a  sister 
of  Stephen  S.  Collett.     The  son  studied  for  a  physician. 

I-.  C.  Allen,  l3orn  near  Highland,  this  county,  studied  law  under  M.  (]. 
Rhoades,  of  New^port.  and  was  there  admitted  to  the  bar.  He  was  justice  of 
the  peace  in  1868-72.  when  he  also  had  some  trial  cases  on  hand.  He  was  a 
man  of  firm  principles  and  sometimes  a  little  se\ere  and  rough.  Later,  he 
remo\'ed  to  Fountain  county  and  served  as  a  deputy  clerk  at  Covington. 

Nathan  Harvey  was  a  natixe  and  lived  many  years  in  Parke  county,  this 
state,  being  educated  at  Bloomingdale  school,  the  Quaker  institution,  under  the 
instruction  of  Barnabas  Hobbs,  formerl\-  state  superintendent  of  public  in- 
struction He  had  a  fair  mind  and  good  scholarship.  On  coming  to  New- 
port he  tau.ght  school  in  the  seminary  building  during  the  da\s  of  the  Civil 
war,  for  a  couple  of  years,  then  married  the  daughter  of  John  C.  Johnson. 
He  became  a  law  partner  of  William  Eggleston,  liut  was  onl\-  i>ermitted  to 
practice  about  three  years,  when  he  died,  during  a  session  of  court.  He  was 
an  honorable  man  and  had  he  not  died  so  earl\-  would  doubtless  ha\e  been 
one  of  the  county's  best  legal  minds. 

Robert  A.  Parrett,  a  native  of  Indiana,  settled  w  ith  his  parents  at  New- 
port when  a  young  man.  His  father  was  a  traveling  Methodist  minister  and 
the  son  Roliert  was  reared  largelv  in  Newport.  He  commenced  a  course  at 
-\sbury  mow  De  Pauw  University)  and  while  yet  in  the  fre.shman  year,  on 
account  of  ill  health,  he  had  to  desist.  He  then  read  law  in  the  office  of  Judge 
Jump,  was  admitted  to  bar  and  practiced  his  professi(Mi  for  a  time.  In  the 
autumn  of  1873  '^e  was  admitted  as  a  partner  of  P..  E.  and  M.  d.  Rhoades.  in 


wliicli  relation  he  remained  until  January,  1880.  He  then  engaged  in  farming 
near  Newport.  He  was  a  good  lawyer,  a  good  bookkeeper  and  attentive  to 
business,  but,  owing  to  ill  health,  was  induced  to  abandon  the  profession  for 
that  more  healthful  and  independent  occupation  of  a  farmer. 

Prof.  B.  F.  Rhoades,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  born  in  1834,  came  with 
his  parents'  family  'to  Richmond,  Indiana,  in  1836,  in  a  one-horse  wagon.  In 
1837  they  came  to  Parke  county;  then  moved  to  Waveland,  Montgomery 
county,  where  he  attended  the  Waveland  Academy,  and  entered  Wabash  Col- 
lege in  the  junior  year,  graduating  there  in  1859.  He  then  came  to  Clinton. 
Vermillion  county,  and  taught  in  the  Farmer's  College  a  jjart  of  one  year. 
He  studied  law  in  the  office  of  Judge  Maxwell,  at  Rockville,  Parke  county, 
was  admitted  to  the  bar,  came  to  Newport  in  1861,  and  commenced  the  prac- 
tice of  law.  He  w-as  in  partnership  with  his  brother,  M.  G.  Rhoades,  1865-79. 
In  1865-66  he  was  a  member  of  the  Legislature.  In  1878  he  removed  to 
Terre  Haute.  He  went  to  Europe  with  his  family  and  there  spent  thirteen 
months  in  ti'avel.  Early  in  the  spring  of  1881  he  was  appointetl  judge,  of  the 
superior  court  of  Vigo  county,  serving  one  year.  For  five  years  he  was  one 
of  the  trustees  of  the  State  University  at  Bloomington,  where  he  was  also  a 
professor  of  law  for  a  time. 

John  D.  Cushman  was  born  and  reared  in  Perrysville,  this  county.  His 
father  was  Thomas  Cushman,  who  was  elected  county  auditor  in  the  fall  of 
1872,  and  moved  with  his  family  to  Newport,  where  the  son  John  studied 
law,  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  and  began  practice  with  Joshua  Jump  for  a 
time;  was  in  the  office  of  Messrs.  Rhoades,  where  he  proved  himself  a  good 
office  man,  a  fine  penman  and  an  intelligent  business  factor  of  the  county  seat 
town.  He  was  a  good  public  speaker,  but  never  practiced  at  the  bar  to  any 
considerable  extent.  In  the  autumn  of  1875  he  went  to  the  Southern  states, 
where  he  traveled  for  si.x  months.  Returning,  he  resumed  law  practice, 
sometimes  alone,  at  other  times  with  others,  until  his  death,  about  1882.  He 
was  a  young  man  of  more  than  ordinary  promise  when  death  claimed  him. 

Thomas  C.  W.  Sale  was  for  many  years  a  lawyer  of  Newport,  and 
before  the  Civil  war  went  to  Paris,  Illinois,  where  he  received  an  appointment 
as  Indian  agent,  and  he  was  in  the  far  West  for  a  long  period  in  the  fulfill- 
ment of  the  duties  of  that  office.  Later  he  returned  and  resided  at  Paris, 

Samuel  G.  Malone,  who  practiced  before  the  \^ermillion  county  bar 
prior  to  the  Civil  war,  removed  to  Decatur,  Illinois,  where  he  accumulated 
from  seventy-five  to  one  hundred  thousand  dollars,  but  lost  it  all  later.  He 
then  retired  to  his  farm  in  Helt  township,  this  county. 


William  Eggleston,  a  native  of  Vermillion  county,  Indiana,  was  educated 
here,  attended  the  common  schools  and  the  county  seminary  at  Newport, 
after  he  was  grown  to  man's  estate.  He  was  industrious  and  persevering. 
He  took  kindly  to  law,  and  in  due  time  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  about  1859.. 
He  worked  up  considerable  practice,  by  hard  struggle,  making  many  errors, 
but  after  fifteen  years'  practice  accumulated  a  handsome  property.  He  then 
engaged  in  the  mercantile  business  with  his  brother,  but  they  both  failed  in 
business.  During  his  experience  as  a  merchant,  however,  William  proceeded 
with  the  law  profession  and  was  again  a  successful  attorney.  While  here  he 
wrote  and  published  three  works:  "A  Treatise  on  County  Commissioners," 
"A  Legal  Work  on  Damages,"  and  a  play  entitled  "The  Broken-hearted 
Wife,"  being  a  story  of  woman's  love  and  man's  unfaithfulness,  and  consist- 
ing of  facts  that  occurred  a  few  years  before,  in  this  section  of  the  state,  under 
his  own  observation.     He  removed  to  Terre  Haute  in  1877. 

V.  E.  Witmer,  about  eighty-five  years  ago,  came  from  Ohio  to  Newport, 
tliis  county,  where  he  practiced  law  about  six  years,  then  moved  to  a  point 
near  Logansport,  where  he  died  in  the  eighties.  He  was  a  man  possessed  of 
the  "spread-eagle"  style,  not  deeply  \ersed,  but  executive,  working  up  law 
suits  whether  they  should  have  been  worked  up  or  not. 

William  L.  Little,  a  graduate  of  old  Asbury  L'niversity  (now  DePauw), 
became  a  Alethodist  minister,  preaching  here  a  year  or  more.  He  then 
switched  to  farming  seven  miles  southwest  of  Newport,  and  in  that  he  suc- 
ceeded well;  next  he  practiced  law  at  Newport,  settled  a  few  estates,  and 
then  became  a  merchant,  finally  moving  to  Hutchinson,  Kansas,  about  1882. 
He  had  a  fair  intellect,  a  good  degree  of  information  on  general  subjects,  and 
was  a  prominent  citizen  of  Vermillion  county.  From  1862-72  he  acted  as 
county  examiner,  and  for  about  eight  years  served  as  county  school  superin- 

James  Blanchard.  another  natix'e  of  this  county,  received  a  good  classical 
education  and  was  an  expert  penman,  on  which  account  he  was  emplo\-ed 
much  in  the  stores  and  county  offices  as  an  accountant  and  copyist.  Picking 
u|)  a  little  law  knowledge,  he  was  admitted  to  the  bar  and  had  several  law 
jtartners.  He  was  a  good  assistant  in  preparing  legal  papers,  conducting  cor- 
respondence, making  collections,  etc.  About  1884  he  moved  to  Terre  Haute, 
and  from  there  went  to  South  Hutchinson,  Kansas,  where  he  is  engaged  in  the 
real  estate  business  and  was  generally  successful. 

Ben  Blanchard,  though  nominally  an  attorney,  ne\er  actualh-  conducted  a 
suit.     He  mo\ed  to  Terre  Haute  and  engaged  in  real  estate  business. 


Hon.  Joseph  B.  Cheadle,  congressman  from  the  ninth  district  in  Indiana, 
was  born  in  Vermillion  county,  Indiana,  read  law  with  Judge  Maxwell,  of 
Rockville,  admitted  to  the  Ijar  here  about  1868,  became  deputy  collector  of 
internal  rex'enue,  was  a  candidate  for  nomination  for  a  number  of  offices, 
gradualh-  drifting  out  of  law  into  editorial  work,  had  charge  of  the  Hoosier 
State,  at  Newport,  nine  months,  in  1870,  then  the  Rockville  Republican  and 
Rock7'illc  Tribune,  later  becoming  editor  of  the  Frankfort  Banner,  Clinton 

Joshua  Jump,  born  in  Ohio  in  1843,  studied  law  with  R.  N.  Bishop,  at 
Paris.  Illinois,  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  and  came  to  Newport  in  1869,  where 
his  partnerships  were  in  succession  with  William  Eggleston,  Robert  H.  Sears, 
James  Blanchard,  John  D.  Cushman,  and  from  March,  1879,  to  March,  1885, 
C.  W.  Ward.  From  1885  to  1886  he  was  circuit  judge.  In  June,  1887,  he 
removed  to  Terre  Haute.  Politically,  he  was  a  Democrat,  and  was  an  im- 
]jortant  figure  in  his  part}-  in  state  and  county  political  work. 

Adam  Littlepage,  from  West  Virginia,  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  Ne\\-- 
port,  Februar\-  6.  1883,  formed  a  partnership  with  John  A.  Wiltermood, 
which  existed  about  three  years.  He  married  the  daughter  of  S.  S.  Collett, 
and  tlien  returned  to  West  Virginia. 

Jolin  .\.  Wiltermood,  who  was  in  j888,  postmaster  at  Newport,  was  ap- 
];i)inled  t(i  the  position  in  September,  1885.  He  was  born  in  Vermillion  town- 
shi])  tliis  count}-,  a  son  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Joseph  \\'.  Wiltermood,  and  was 
reared  on  his  ])arents'  farm,  most  of  his  early  youth  being  spent  in  Eugene 
township.  He  attended  the  State  Normal  at  Indianapolis  in  1878-79,  taught 
school  three  vears,  studied  law  in  the  ofifice  of  Judge  Jump,  admitted  to  ])rac- 
tice  February  6,  1883,  as.sociated  professionally  with  H.  H.  Conley  two  years, 
and  w  ith  .Adani  Littlepage  about  three  years. 

The  Newport  bar,  in  1888,  consisted  of  gentlemen:  M.  G. 
Rhoads,  P..  S.  Aikman,  C.  ^^^  ^^'ard,  O.  P.  Cib.son,  H.  H.  Conley  and  J.  C. 

In  the  winter  of  1874-75  Messrs.  Jump  and  M.  G.  Rhoads  were  attorneys 
for  a  fugitive  from  Illinois,  charged  with  .stealing  horses,  and  succeeded  in 
releasine  him  froni  the  custody  of  the  officers.  This  raised  much  excitement 
auiong  the  citizens  of  Newport,  and  indignation  meetings  were  held,  as  well  as 
in  other  sections  of  Vermillion  county.  The  officer  holding  the  fugitive  had 
not  the  proper  authority  in  the  case. 



Henry  Adainson,  Clinton;  Joseph  VV.  Amis,  Clinton;  Daniel  C.  Johnson, 
Clinton;  Hezzie  B.  Pike,  Clinton;  John  A.  Wiltermood,  Clinton;  E.  P.  Zell, 
Clinton;  G.  Edmond  Bingham,  Clinton;  R.  E.  Guinn,  Clinton;  Frank  R. 
Miller,  Clinton;  Frank  Smith,  Dana;  George  D.  Sunkel,  Dana;  Ed.  B.  James, 
Dana;  Miller  W.  Coffin,  Cayuga;  Charles  Hosford,  Cayuga;  Oscar  D.  Zell, 
Cayuga;  Homer  B.  Aikman,  Newport;  Hugh  A.  Conley,  Newport;  VV.  Burt 
Conley,  Newport;  Charles  j\l.  Iniltz,  Newport;  Ed.  E.  Neel,  Newport;  Martin 
G.  Rhoades,  Newport;  William  C.  Wait,  Newport;  Homer  Galloway,  New- 
port; Forest  Ingram,  Newport;  Harrison  T.  Payne,  Newport;  John  B.  Butler. 



In  the  settlement  of  every  new  country  the  medical  profession  is  usually 
among  the  first  to  establish  itself.  The  first  settler,  the  family  doctor  and  the 
traveling  minister,  is  about  the  order  in  which  the  first  steps  toward  develop- 
ment are  taken.  As  much  as  may  be  said  against  the  doctor  when  one  is  in 
possession  of  good  health  and  has  no  need  for  the  medicine  chest  and  the  faith- 
ful adviser,  the  time  soon  comes  to  one  and  all  when  the  sight  of  the  physician 
is  welcome.  During  the  weary  hours  of  the  night,  passed  in  the  lonely  pioneer 
cabin,  the  sick  person  with  a  fevered  brow  and  hectic  flush  watched  patiently 
for  the  coming  of  the  doctor,  with  his  saddle-bags,  which  contained  many 
distasteful  drugs  of  the  old-school  compounds,  yet  were  looked  upon  with 
great  favor  in  days  and  nights  of  sickness  and  swallowed  in  the  hope  that 
strength  and  vitality  might  again  bless  them.  These  pioneer  doctors  made 
their  trips  over  hill  and  glade,  through  all  kinds  of  weather,  facing  the  storms 
of  winter  and  the  burning  sun  of  mid-summer,  in  order  to  reach  the  bedside 
of  the  sick  in  time  to  be  of  service  to  them  in  the  hour  of  their  distress.  Mam- 
of  the  bills  for  such  service  were  never  paid,  but  the  faithful  doctor  never 
stopped  to  consider  the  payment  of  the  bill,  going  on  his  professional  call  to 
cure,  and  not  solely  to  add  to  his  own  treasury.  Scores  of  these  old-time 
physicians  were  excellent  doctors,  understood  human  nature  and  knew  nnicli 
more  than  they  have  been  credited  with  in  these  later  years.  True,  the  science 
of  mdicine  had  not  progressed  to  the  high  degree  that  now  obtains,  yet  the  suc- 
cess attained  in  caring  for  the  ills  of  fifty  and  se\'enty-fi\'e  years  ago  compares 
favorably  with  that  of  today,  except  in  contagious  and  epidemic  diseases,  in 
which  the  more  recent  physicians  are  undoubtedly  superior  to  their  forefathers. 

The  first  physician  to  locate  in  Clinton  was  Dr.  Joseph  Hopkins,  who 
came  from  Ohio  in  1830,  or  possibly  a  little  before  that  year.  He  was  an  ac- 
ceptable physician,  practiced  a  number  of  years  and  died  out  West,  leaving  a 
wife  and  two  daughters.    Peace  to  his  ashes ! 

Dr.  Eastman  practiced  here  about  the  same  time  above  named,  but  little 
can  now  be  learned  of  him. 

Dr.  1.  S.  Palmer,  a  graduate  of  one  of  the  Philadelphia  medical  colleges, 



settled  in  Clinton  dvn-ing  the  pioneer  period,  accumulated  some  property,  but 
finally  became  very  intemperate  and  lost  what  he  had  honestly  made.  He 
finally  lost  his  own  life  in  a  most  horrible  manner,  although  not  intoxicated 
at  the  time.  Visiting  a  patient  across  the  river  Wabash,  one  day  about  1863, 
he  noticed  on  his  return  many  squirrels  in  the  woods.  On  arriving  home  he 
took  his  gun  and  started  out  to  indulge  in  the  sport  of  a  chase.  While  crossing 
the  river  on  the  ice  he  broke  through,  but  held  himself  from  being  drawn 
under  by  clinging  to  the  edge  of  the  ice,  and  there  he  held  fast  until  parties 
had  arrived  from  points  a  mile  or  more  distant  for  his  ■  rescue.  But  his 
strength  gave  out  and  he  went  under,  never  more  to  be  seen.  His  body  was 
never  recovered.  Charles  Knowles  nearly  lost  his  life  in  trying  to  save  the 
unfortunate  doctor. 

Ohio  sent  another  doctor  to  these  parts  in  the  person  of  Dr.  William  Kile, 
a  man  of  great  energy  and  industry.  After  practicing  several  years  and 
making  a  small  fortune,  he  sold  out  and  moved  to  Paris,  Illinois,  where  he 
embarked  in  the  mercantile  business,  and  also  had  a  good  farm  which  he 
cultivated,  handling  stock  in  an  extensive  manner.  Subsequently,  the  Doctor 
drifted  into  banking.  It  is  related  of  him  that  when  visiting  patients  on  the 
east  side  of  the  Wabash  that  he  frequently  would  swim  his  horse,  on  his 
return,  rather  than  to  come  a  few  miles  out  of  his  way  to  the  wagon  bridge. 
One  time  he  was  violently  attacked  with  small-pox,  when  scarcely  anyone 
thought  he  could  survive,  but  his  "vitativeness"  was  so  large  that,  as  he  was 
taken  out  into  the  country  for  treatment,  passing  a  store,  he  called  out  to  the 
proprietor,  "Save  me  the  large  pair  of  boots,  will  you?"  He  had  very  large 
feet.    He  died  at  Paris  many  years  afterward. 

Dr.  Perkins,  a  botanic  physician,  practiced  here  a  number  of  years  and 
finally  moved  to  Oregon. 

Dr.  Rollin  Whitcomb,  another  botanic  physician  from  New  York,  located 
here  in  1841.  After  practicing  here  for  a  number  of  years,  he  moved  to  other 
parts,  but  again  resumed  practice  here  and  remained  until  his  death. 

Dr.  I.  B.  Hedges  accompanied  his  parents  from  New  York  when  he  was  a 
mere  boy,  in  1824.  He  commenced  the  practice  of  medicine  in  1845.  <^"^1 
proved  to  be  a  successful  doctor.  He  was  a  man  of  learning  and  stood  high 
in  the  community.  He  left  his  family  considerable  property,  as  a  result  of  his 
extended  medical  practice. 

Dr.  P.  R.  Owen  came  to  Clinton  about  1854  from  New  Goshen,  Indiana, 
but  was  a  native  of  Ohio.  When  the  Civil  war  broke  out  he  enlisted  and  was 
elected  captain  of  Company  I,  Fourteenth  Indiana  Infantry,  promoted  major 
and  then  lieutenant-colonel   of  his  regiment:  came  home  and  practiced  his 


profession  until  1871,  when  he  (Hed,  leaving"  a  widow  and  several  children. 
He  was  an  excellent  Methodist  minister  at  one  time.  The  Grand  Army  post 
at  Clinton  was  named  in  honor  of  him. 

Another  physician  here  wa,'^  Dr.  Corkins,.  who  after  a  few  years'  prac- 
tice, removed  to  Texas. 

Dr.  William  Reeder  practiced  medicine  at  Clinton  for  a  number  of  )-ears 
before  the  breaking  out  of  the  Civil  war,  in  which  he  enlisted  and  held  some 
office  in  his  regiment.  About  1874  he  moved  to  Texas,  where  at  last  accounts 
he  was  a  successful  practitioner  in  the  Lone  Star  state. 

Dr.  J.  C.  Crozier  was  another  "before  the  war"  physician  in  Clinton.  He 
entered  the  Union  army  as  a  surgeon,  continued  until  the  end  of  the  war, 
then  practiced  here  a  number  of  years,  finally  going  to  \Vashington,  D.  C, 
where  he  was  for  many  years  connected  with  the  pension  department. 

Dr.  William  H.  Stewart  came  in  from  Illinois,  practiced  three  years 
and  located  in  Terre  Haute.  In  1888  the  physicians  in  Clinton  were  Drs. 
Henry  Nelieker,  J.  H.  Bogart  and  C.  M.  White. 

In  Helt  township  the  physicians  of  long  ago  included  these :  Dr.  Hiram 
Shepard,  born  in  Newport,  this  county,  graduated  at  the  Miami  iMedical 
College  of  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  and  practiced  at  Dana  from  1874  on. 

Dr.  Grahville  O.  Newton  was  born  in  Helt  township,  graduated  at  the 
named  medical  school,  and  after  practicing  in  this  county  in  the  country  for  a 
time  removed  to  Dana  in  September,  1885. 

Dr.  Thomas  C.  Hood,  also  a  nati\e  of  Helt  township,  graduated  at 
Jefferson  Medical  College  at  Philadelphia  in  1884,  located  in  Terre  Haute 
for  a  short  time,  moving  to  Dana  in  1885. 

Dr.  John  C.  Harrison  was  born  in  Crawfordsville,  Indiana,  was  a  soldier 
in  the  Civil  war.  graduated  in  medicine  at  the  Eclectic  Medical  College  of 
Cincinnati,  began  to  practice  in  partnership  with  his  brother  in  1868,  locating 
at  Dana  in  1886. 

Dr.  A.  H.  DePuy  practiced  in  Helt  township  from  1856  to  187 1.  moved 
to  Chicago.    He  was  a  regular  graduate  and  an  excellent  man. 

Dr.  Frank  Foncannon,  a  native  of  Helt  township,  i)racticed  in  this  town- 
ship a  short  time,  then  went  to  Emporia,  Kansas. 

From  out  the  numerous  physicians  who  have  from  time  to  time  prac- 
ticed medicine  in  Vermillion  township  only  these  can  now  be  recalled  of  the 
earlier  ones : 

Dr.  J.  R.  \\'illetts  practiced  here  pre\ious  to  the  Civil  war,  and  moved 
from  the  county.  For  a  time  he  was  in  partnership  with  Dr.  Griffin,  long  since 
deceased.     Dr.  E.  T.  Collett,  son  of  Josephus  Collett,  Sr.,  was  a  graduate  of 


the  I.ouis\  iile  Medical  College,  practiced  here  and  in  Eugene  township,  and 
in  1878  committed  suicide  in  Kansas,  at  the  age  of  fifty-eight  years.  Drs. 
Clark  and  P.  H.  Leavitt  practiced  here  for  a  number  of  years,  part  of  the 
time  as  partners.  The  former  moved  to  Danville,  Illinois,  and  the  other  died 
at  Newport.  Dr.  E.  Thompson  moved  to  Illinois  and  died  there.  He  left 
Newport  in  the  autumn  of  1874.  Other  doctors  of  the  township  were  Drs. 
M.  L.  Hall,  Lewis  Shepard  and  James  Wallace. 

.\mong  the  early  physicians  at  Eugene  may  be  recalled  the  name  of  Dr. 
R.  M.  Waterman,  who  came  in  before  1837,  and  practiced  until  his  death, 
about  1868,  except  a  short  time  at  Lodi,  whence  he  entered  the  army.  He 
was  of  the  "regular"  school  of  practice  and  came  from  Rhode  Island.  He 
established  the  first  newspaper  pul:)lishe(l  in  Vermillion  county. 

Dr.  James  McMeen  practiced  here  many  years,  and  in  1886  moved  to 
Danville,  Illinois.     Another  physician  here  was  Dr.  William  C.  Eichelberger. 

.\t  Perrysville  the  list  of  men  who  ha\e  practiced  medicine  is  quite 
lengthy,  and  includes  the  following : 

Dr.  Dinwiddle,  said  to  have  been  a  surgeon  of  the  regular  army,  was  the 
first  ph)'sician  to  locate  at  Perrysville.  He  left  the  place  sometime  in  the 

Dr.  Thornton  S.  Davidson  came  about  1839  ^""^1  'li^*^!  here  about  1852. 

The  next  physician  was  probably  Dr.  Reynolds,  about  1850. 

Dr.  R.  M.  Waterman,  after  practicing  here  a  while,  mo\ed  to  Eugene, 
where  he  started  the  Ncu's-Lcttcr,  and  then  to  Lodi,  Fountain  county,  where 
a  postofiice  was  named  for  him,  "Waterman."  He  served  in  the  army,  as 
captain  of  Company  A  in  an  Indiana  regiment,  but  contracted  a  disease  from 
which  he  soon  afterward  died. 

Dr.  A.  B.  Small,  not  a  regular  graduate  in  medicine,  was  in  partnership 
with  Dr.  Waterman  and  others,  became  feeble  by  reason  of  age  and  finallv  died 
in  Milwaukee,  Wisconsin. 

Dr.  John  Stewart  Baxter,  from  Virginia,  was  a  good  surgeon,  in  part- 
nership with  Dr.  Spotswood  for  a  time,  and  died  in  Perrysville  in  1853. 

Dr.  Dexter  F.  Leland,  from  some  one  of  the  Eastern  states,  arrived  here 
about  1850,  was  a  partner  of  Dr.  Spotswood,  a  physician  of  gentlemanly 
manners,  and  died  in  three  or  four  years  after  settling  here. 

Dr.  Lewis  Clark  came  in  1854,  was  an  energetic  man,  practiced  here 
three  \ears  and  moved  to  Kansas,  where  he  died. 

Dr.  Lewis  Frazee,  eclectic,  was  born  in  New  Jerse\'  in  181 5,  came  to 
Perrvsville  in  1863,  and  died  in  December,  1881.  His  first  wife  and  their 


nine  children  all  died  before  him.  The  son  George  began  practice  in  Perrys- 
ville  in  1870,  dying  in  1878. 

Dr.  J.  M.  Wilkerson  arrived  in  Perr}'s\ille  in  1852,  and  practiced  a  few 
years  only,  then  removed  to  other  parts. 

Other  doctors  were:  L.  M.  Meering;  John  Kemp,  botanic;  D.  M.  Bal- 
lard, from  1857'  until  his  death;  Joseph  H.  Olds,  who  came  before  the  Civil 
war,  entered  the  Union  army,  whence  he  did  not  return  to  this  county.  He 
was  considered  a  physician  of  more  than  ordinary  ability  and  skill. 

Dr.  Crooks,  a  young  man  in  partnership  with  Dr.  Clark  for'  a  period, 
moved  to  Lebanon,  where  he  died. 

Dr.  B.  I.  Pollard,  eclectic,  from  State  Line  (village),  practiced  in  Perrys- 
ville  in  the  early  eighties  and  moved  to  Dixon,  Illinois. 

In  1888  the  list  of  physicians  at  Perrysville  included  these:  Drs.  E.  T. 
Spotswood,  James  T.  Henderson,  James  Webb.  J.  W.  Smith,  D.  B.  Johnson. 


Dr.  Cuthbert  F.  Keyes,  deceased,  was  born  near  Dugee  Ferry,  in  Indiana, 
in  the  vear  1822,  and  in  1826  was  brought  by  his  parents  to  Vermillion  countj', 
where  he  was  reared  to  manhood.  His  father  was  a  gunsmith  and  wagon- 
maker  and  while  he  kept  his  slaves  at  work  in  the  gun  factory,  the  white  men 
Avorked  at  the  wagon  yard  and  he  himself  ran  boats  on  the  Potomac  river. 
After  his  father's  death  he  lived  with  his  mother  and  uncle,  attending  school 
at  Clinton,  riding  to  and  fro  night  and  morning.  He  spent  a  portion  of  his 
younger  life  clerking  in  a  store  for  his  uncle  and  passed  from  this  to  the 
study  of  medicine,  with  Drs.  Kile  and  Palmer  at  Clinton.  He  studied  medi- 
cine some  time  and  during  this  time  he  had  to  work  for  his  board,  doing  any 
little  odd  jobs  he  could  find,  but  this  only  helped  to  make  the  man  he  after- ' 
ward  became.  He  then  went  to  St.  Louis,  where  he  attended  one  term  of 
lectures.  June  30,  1846,  he  married  Miss  Jane  Bales,  they  beginning  their 
married  life  on  the  farm.  Here  he  began  the  practice  of  his  profession,  which 
he  followed  until  he  went  to  St.  Louis  to  attend  a  second  term  of  lectures.  Li 
this  term  his  eyes  began  to  fail  and  he  became  blind.  He  still  continued  the 
lectures.  Professor  Van  Zant  giving  him  the  privilege  of  this  term  free  andj 
at  the  close  commended  him  for  his  close  attention  and  industry,  although 
he  was  stone  blind.  His  eyes  were  treated  in  the  city  at  the  same  time.  At  the 
time  of  the  birth  of  his  son.  Dr.  O.  M.  Keyes  (now  of  Dane),  he  was  blind. 
When  he  returned  to  his  home  from  St.  Louis  he  found,  by  the  care  and  in- 
dustry of  his  good  wife  that  his  affairs  had  been  kept  in  good  order.     He  sut 


sequently  mo\-ed  to  Clinton.  1jut  becoming  dissatisfied,  he  returned  to  his 
farm,  where  he  practiced  medicine  until  his  death.  On  the  morning  of  that 
day  he  arose,  ate  a  hearty  breakfast  and  started  for  Bono,  about  three  miles 
south  of  Dana,  to  see  a  patient.  On  his  way  he  suffered  a  sudden  and  severe 
attack  of  congestion  of  the  stomach  and  bowels.  He  succeeded  in  reaching 
Bono  and,  leaving  his  team  unhitched,  staggered  into  Frank  Austin's  store, 
where  he  fell  on  the  floor,  exclaiming,  as  he  fell,  that  he  had  come  there  to  die. 
He  was  taken  to  the  house  of  Mr.  Austin,  where  everything  possible  was  done 
to  alleviate  his  intense  agony.  Doctor  Hall  was  sent  for.  but  one  hour  before 
he  arrived,  and  at  ten  o'clock  that  same  evening,  the  restless  spirit  of  the  old 
veteran  took  its  flight  to  that  Ijourne  whence  no  traveler  returns.  Xo  man 
was  more  successful  in  the  county  than  he  in  his  methods  of  treatment  of  dis- 
eases, and  none  had  a  more  extensive  professional  experience.  He  ne\er  re- 
fused a  call  because  the  patients  were  poor.  He  was  one  of  the  few  who  fol- 
lowed his  profession  not  for  the  purpose  of  amassing  a  great  fortune,  but  be- 
cause he  took  delight  in  alleviating  the  sufferings  of  his  fellow  mortals.  He 
was  a  man  of  kind  disposition  and  noble  and  generous  impulses,  and  was  ready 
to  make  any  sacrifices  for  the  accommodation  of  a  friend  or  neighbor.  Though 
somewhat  eccentric  in  his  style,  his  warm  and  sympathetic  nature  and  his 
kind  and  generous  disposition  made  him  a  host  of  friends.  Dr.  Keyes  left  a 
wife  and  three  sons  and  two  daughters,  in  sad  bereax'ement  b\-  his  death. 
Thus,  one  by  one,  the  old  pioneers  pass  away,  leaving  the  world  and  the  duties 
incumbent  on  life  to  the  rising  generation. 


At  the  date  above  gixen  the  doctors  jircicticing  in  this  county  were  as 
follows : 

At  Clinton— Drs.  G.  \V.  Ashley,  l".  H.  Beeler,  K.  A.  Evans.  W.  D.  Ger- 
rish.  C.  E.  Ragan,  Annabale  .Solarglis  (Italian).  D  C.  Shaff.  .\.  A.  Washl)urn. 
Henry  Washburn,  I.  D.  White  and  Dr.  Reese. 

At  Perrysville — Drs.  Sanders  and  Loomis. 

At  St.  Bernice — Drs.  Green,  Lonsdale  and  T.  Newton. 

At  Universal  (Bunsen) — One  physician  was  in  active  practice. 

At  Newport — Drs.  I.  M.  Casebeer,  M.  L.  Hall  and  one  other. 

At  Cayuga— Drs.  E.  A.  Flaugher,  M.  P.  and  S.  C.  Darroch,  M.  R.  Pol- 

At  Dana— Drs.  O.  M.  Keyes.  D.  S.  Strong.  W".  C.  Myers,  G.  C.  I'ritchett 
and  Dr.  Green. 



Perhaps,  outside  of  the  efforts  to  keep  alive  a  county  agricultural  society 
and  hold  annual  exhibits  of  farm  products,  there  is  no  other  organization  so 
hard  to  keep  alive  and  in  working  order  as  a  county  medical  society.  This 
should  not  be  so,  but  such  is  the  almost  universal  fact,  not  alone  in  Indiana, 
but  in  every  section  of  the  Union.  Just  when  the  first  attempt  at  maintaining 
such  a  society  of  the  medical  men  in  Vermillion  county  was  made  is  not  now 
known.  It  is  certain,  however,  that  more  than  forty  years  have  elapsed  since 
there  was  such  an  effort  put  forth,  and  it  resulted  in  the  organization  of  what 
was  termed  the  \^ermillion  County  Medical  Society.  It  was  in  July,  1869. 
when  a  meeting  was  held  at  Newport,  comprising  James  McMeen  and  Will- 
iam C.  Eichelbarger,  of  Eugene:  Hiram  and  Lewis  Shepherd,  of  Quaker 
Point;  Henry  C.  Eaton,  of  Brouillet's  Creek,  and  M.  L.  Hall  and  C.  Leavitt, 
of  Newport,  for  the  purpose  of  organizing  a  county  medical  society.  This 
meeting  adjourned  to  meet  again  a  week  or  two  later,  but  no  further  account 
is  found  of  the  affair  until  in  1873,  when  they  oi-ganized,  electing  Dr.  I.  B. 
Hedges,  of  Clinton,  president.  Subsequently  the  membership  reached  twenty- 
two,  but  tJie  association  was  permitted  to  run  down  in  the  course  of  about  four 

The  files  of  the  Hoosier  State,  published  at  Newport,  mention  the  fact 
that  in  April,  1904,  state  organizer.  Dr.  M.  A.  Boor,  of  Terre  Haute,  was  in 
Newport  and  formed  a  count)-  society,  with  officers  as  follows :  President, 
M.  L.  Hall,  Newport;  vice-])resident,  W.  P.  Darroch,  of  Cayuga;  secretary, 
O.  M.  Keyes,  of  Dana;  treasurer.  O.  A.  Newhouse,  of  Hillsdale.  This  so- 
ciety, however,  went  down,  as  did  all  the  others.  One  reason  assigned  is  the 
fact  that  Clinton  has  most  of  the  ])hysicians  in  this  county,  and  they  are 
located  at  the  south  end  of  the  county,  nearer  to  ^^ig"o  county  and  Terre 
Haute,  which  is  easier  of  railroad  access  than  the  northern  and  western  part 
of  this  county,  hence  the  doctors  run  down  there  and  attend  the  society  there, 
while  on  the  northern  strip  of  A'ermillion  county  the  physicians  can  easily  go 
to  Danville,  Illinois. 



For  its  size,  Vermillion  has  always  had  as  many,  if  not  more,  local 
newspapers  than  it  could  successfully  support. 

In  Clinton  the  history  of  journalism  may  be  summed  up  b\-  the  f<jllo\ving 
changes  in  offices  and  editors,  regardless  of  the  many  locations  or  buildings 
in  which  the  offices  were  kept,  which  is  of  little  account,  as  all  business  houses 
and  street  numbers  are  sul>ject  to  changes,  for  which  the  ordinar)-  reader 
cares  little.  One  press  printed  all  the  earlier  newspapers  in  Clinton.  sa\e  the 
Argus  alone.  In  1873  the  Clinton  Exf^oncnt  was  established  by  B.  S.  Black- 
ledge  and  James  R.  Baker.  It  was  decidedly  a  Republican  organ.  Its  editor 
was  F.  L.  ^Vhedon,  from  Ohio,  at  first.  Baker  soon  sold  his  interest  to  his 
partner,  and  Mr.  Blackledge  conducted  the  paper  until  November,  1876.  when 
he  sold  to  L}-man  E.  Knapp.  In  June,  1877,  he  sold  to  R.  S.  Knapji,  but  it  is 
related  that  King  Alcohol  foreclosed  a  mortgage  and  it  "went  up  the  spout." 
It  raised  its  feeble  efforts  at  existence  next  at  Perrysville,  as  the  Exponent  of 
that  place.  It  only  survived  a  short  time,  and  some  time  in  1877  it  was  bought 
by  an  attorne}'  of  Clinton,  named  H.  A.  White,  who  removed  the  material 
back  to  Clinton,  and  there  started  the  H'cstcni  ludianian,  in  the  l)uilding 
later  used  as  a  meat  market  by  Harry  Dudley.  It  was  not  long  before  the 
politics  was  changed  to  that  of  National. 

White  sold  to  T.  A.  Kibby,  H.  S.  Evans  and  John  AIcMahon.  In  Sep- 
tember, 1879,  Mr.  Kibby  leased  the  office  to  L.  O.  Bishop  and  others.  In 
June,  1S80,  this  firm  purchased  the  Clinton  Herald,  to  which  the  Jl'estern 
Indianian  had  been  changed  by  Evans,  and  published  it  until  July  1,  1882, 
w  hen  it  was  sold. 

August  31.  1882,  Mr.  Bishop  established  the  Saturday  .-lr(/iis.  The 
Herald  susjjended  after  struggling  hard  for  over  a  year  anrl  a  half. 

It  was  about  this  time  that  Alexander  Myers  entered  the  newspa]5er 
field,  by  establishing  the  Tomahazvk  and  Scalping  Knife,  which  he  very  soon 
changed  to  the  Democrat,  wdiich  died  a  natural  death  after  six  weeks'  publica- 
tion. In  June.  1884.  there  came  out  the  Clinton  Sif tings.  wJiich  had  trouble 
to  "sift"  out  a  living  for  al)out  three  years,  then  went  the  way  of  all  the  earth. 


.\mong  the  pioneers  in  the  newspaper  field  here,  tlie  Argus  has  pulled 
through  to  the  present  date,  through  storm  and  sunshine,  ever  advocating  the 
honest,  unbiased  convictions  of  its  editor.  Lucius  O.  Bishop,  who,  through 
heated  political  campaigns  and  local  Ijickerings,  has  steadily  made  new  patrons 
and  friends  and  held  his  old  ones.  He  is  a  practical  printer,  and  a  writer  of 
no  uncertain  language,  hewing  to  the  line,  when  the  case  demands  it.  but 
ever  holding  aloof  from  the  low  and  sensational  in  the  selection  of  his  subject 
matter.  The  Avyits  comes  forth  on  Saturday  each  week  in  the  year,  full  of 
bright,  sparkling  news  items,  and  editorials  such  as  the  pen  of  Mr.  Bishop 
has  been  able  to  inscribe  for  so  many  years.  He.  having  been  raised  in  a 
print-shop,  knows  its  every  intricate  detail.  It  may  be  said,  as  of  another 
paper,  "If  you  see  it  in  the  Saturday  Argus  it  is  true." 

The  Clintonian,  daily  and  weekly,  was  established  in  the  eighties  and  was 
the  direct  successor  of  the  Clinton  Republican,  a  foiu"-])age,  six-column  paper. 
Republican  in  its  politics.  The  Clintonian  is  owned  and  edited  by  J.  W. 
Pierce  and  is  run  on  an  improved  Campbell  press,  by  an  electric  motor.  Sub- 
scription rate,  one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents  per  year.  It  is  independent 
in  politics.  November  5,  igi2,  a  daily  edition  was  established,  a  six-column, 
four  to  eight-page,  rate  fi\-e  dollars  per  annuuL  The  plant  is  fully  ecpiipped 
with  linotype,  folder  and  jobbers,  all  run  by  electricity.  The  office  has  been 
twice  enlarged  in  the  last  five  years.  The  present  publisher  consolidated  the 
Clinton  Flaindcalcr  (run  here  from  1906  to  1908  bv  C.  G.  A^annest  and  C.  H. 
Vaughn)  with  the  weekly  Clintonian.  The  present  publications  are  up-to- 
date  in  all  features  and  voice  the  sentiments  of  the  enterjirising,  progressive 
element  in  the  community  in  which  it  circulates. 

The  Clinton  Times  (  weekly  )  was  established  in  the  month  of  Mav,  191 1, 
by  S.  E.  Mendenhall,  who  was  succeeded  in  October  of  the  same  year  by 
the  law  firm  of  Johnson,  Brigham  &  Zell,  who  still  own  and  conduct  the 
paper,  hiring  a  foreman  for  the  mechanical  part  of  the  business.  It  is  a  Re- 
publican paper,  a  seven-column  folio  in  size,  all  home-print.  The  rate  of  sub- 
scription per  year  is  one  dollar.  .\  fine  job  department  is  attached  to  the 
newspaper  business.  It  is  located  on  East  Mulberry  street,  and  the  paper  is 
published  each  Thursday,  finding  a  good  circulation  in  Vermillion.  Parke  and 
Vigo  counties. 

The  Dana  News,  one  of  the  county's  reliable,  readable  local  newspapers, 
was  established  by  M.  L.  (".riffith.  of  Monticello,  Illinois,  as  a  Democratic 
paper,  which  it  is  at  this  lime.  The  date  of  its  establishment  was  October  i. 
1885.  .\pril  15.  1S87.  he  sold  the  paper  to  J.  T.  Smith,  who  .sold  to  :\Iiss 
Beatrice  Tayloi-  in  tHt^.     She  sold  to  C.  \\'.  Sturm  in  1898.  and  in  1908  he 


sold  to  the  present  owner  and  editor,  J.  H.  Jordan,  who  conducts  a  six-cohimn 
eight-page  paper,  and  has  a  subscription  rate  of  one  doHar  and  twenty-five 
cents  per  year.  The  machinery  in  this  office  is  now  propelled  by  gasoline 
power,  and  has  included  within  its  equipment  a  good  job  office.  The  name  of 
this  paper  has  changed  with  the  whims  of  everj-  one  who  has  owned  the 
plant.  First,  the  Nczvs;  then  the  rcnnillion  Democrat .  under  J.  L.  Smith: 
the  Record,  under  Miss  Taylor ;  the  Vermillion  County  News,  under  George 
W.  Sturm,  and  changed  back  to  its  original  title,  the  Dana  News,  by  its  pres- 
ent editor. 

The  ne\vspa])er  history  of  Newport  is  indeed  replete  with  mam'  excellent 
and  unique  features.  The  first  paper  established  there  was  the  Olive  Branch. 
by  A.  J.  Adams,  later  of  Danville,  Illinois,  fame.  Its  editor  was  A.  D.  Patton. 
Nearly  the  first,  if  not  indeed  the  first,  issue  of  this  paper  was  dated  Decem- 
ber 29.  1853.  Its  head  (like  most  papers  in  those  days)  had  for  a  motto 
catchy  words.  "We  hold  the  balance  with  an  equal  hand,  and  weigh  whatever 
justice  doth  demand."  Politicalh',  the  Ollie  Branch  was  Whig,  and  upon 
the  organization  of  the  Republican  party  became  its  organ  in  this  section  of 
Indiana.  The  first  numbers  of  this  pioneer  newspaper  had  but  little  original 
matter,  sa\-e  an  occasional  editorial.  The  salutator}-  occupied  a  column  in 
length.  It  advertised  with  considerable  gusto  the  fact  that  it  liad  contribu- 
tors, naming  these :  Rev.  David  Taylor,  Terre  Haute :  Robert  Ross,  princi- 
pal of  the  Terre  Haute  public  schools;  Samuel  Taylor,  principal  of  the  New- 
port Seminary:  Dr.  H.  H.  Patten,  Princeton.  Indiana,  and  J.  S.  Sawyer,  of 

The  latest  telegraphic  news  was  dated  Deceml^er  17th.  twelxe  days  prior 
to  the  date  of  the  paper's  issue.  Most  of  the  advertisements  were  from  Terre 
Haute  business  men.  One  item  of  real  local  news  was  that  the  Evans\-ille  & 
Terre  Haute  railroad  had  just  been  completed  between  the  two  points.  ^\■.  A. 
Henderson  had  the  only  home  advertisement  in  the  paper,  which  occupied  an 
inch  of  space  in  one  column,  telling  the  people  that  he  kept  drugs  and  patent 
medicines,  groceries  and  flour.  J-  -M-  Hood  gave  notice  that  his  telegraph 
office  was  situated  on  the  east  side  of  the  Square  with  ]\Ir.  Henderson.  The 
subscription  price  for  this  paper  was  one  dollar  and  fifty  cents  if  paid  in 
advance,  and  two  dollars  at  the  end  of  six  months,  also  another  fifty  cents  was 
demanded  if  it  was  not  i^aid  within  the  year. 



Tliis  old  and  uni\ersallv  well  kiicnvn  publication  was  the  outgrowth  of 
the  Olkr  Branch,  and  had  its  hirth  in  1853.  It  was  published  at  Clinton  for 
a  time,  but  later  returned  to  Newport,  where  it  has  ever  since  remained.  The 
proprietors  and  editors  include  Pratt  &  Adams,  James  M.  Hood.  Samuel  H. 
Huston  (1855.  at  Clinton),  Mr.  Campbell,  Mitchell,  Vaul  (  1858),  a  company 
with  WilliamE.  Livengood,  George  W.  English  (  1862-63).  Col.  H.  D.  Wash- 
burn. S.  B.  Davis.  Joseph  B.  Cheadle.  S.  B.  Davis  (second  time).  Many  of 
these  men  became  state  and  national  characters,  in  one  field  or  another.  The 
halls  of  Congress  claimed  Cheadle  and  the  battlefield  claimed  Washburn. 
while  Davis  made  a  record  as  an  editorial  writer  of  more  than  ordinary  note. 
Mr.  Davis  took  the  paper  from  Washburn  in  January.  1868. 

In  the  winter  of  i875-;r.  "Buffalo  Bill'"  wrote  a  serial  for  the  IhuKsicr 
Staff,  entitled  '■Three  ^■ears  in  Utah." 

Mr.  Davis,  so  'ong  connected  with  this  paper,  was  the  county  treasurer 
of  Vermillion  countv  when  the  lliirt)-fi\e  thousand  dollar  robbery  occurred. 
mention  of  which  is  given  in  detail  elsewhere  in  this  \olume.  S.  B.  Davis 
was,  at  the  time  he  quit  the  paper,  the  oldest  editor  in  Indiana  in  point  of 
consecutive  service,  and  he  always  ran  a  staunch,  uncompromising  Republican 
paper.  He  was  fearless,  but  always  fair.  In  1893,  on  May  ist,  he  retired 
from  the  actual  management  of  the  paper,  and  took  in  with  him  his  Son. 
changing  the  style  to  S.  B.  Davis  &  Son.  Three  years  later  he  again  took 
charge,  but  had  for  his  associates  his  sons,  I^ird  H.  and  F.  W.  Davis,  who 
assisted  in  the  work  of  editing  and  ])ublisliing  the  i)aper.  until  the  senior 
i:)avis'  death,  Ajiril  2,  M)nS,  since  whidi  lime  the  son,  P.ird  M.,  has  conducted 
the  paper,  which  property  was  left  U>  the  wife  of  S.  B.  Davis,  who  is  still 
residing  in  Newport.  The  name  of  the  business  has  never  been  changed,  but 
still  runs  as  that  of  S.  B.  Davis  &  Son.  Bird  H.  Davis,  present  manager  and 
editor,  commenced  the  printer's  trade  at  the  age  of  nine  years,  when  he  had  to 
stand  on  a  box  to  elevate  him  sufificiently  high  to  set  type  from  the  cases.  He 
knows  all  the  ins  and  outs  of  new  s]);i])erd(^m  and  stands  high  among  his  fellow 
iournalists.  The  circulation  of  the  popular  Hoasicr  State  is  extensive,  going 
as  it  does  into  thirt>'-two  states  ;ind  foreign  countries.  It  enters  two  hundred 
and  twenty-five  i)o.stoffices  in  this  country.  It  is  run  on  a  power  press,  by 
gasoline  engine.  The  Hoosicr  Slate  is  now  a  six-column  (|uarto,  thirty  by 
forty-four  inches  in  size,  and  an  eight-i:)age  paper;  its  publication  day  is 
Wednesday,  and  its  subscription  rate  is  one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents  per 


year.  Politics,  Republican.  Its  special  feature  is  all  the  printable  news.  It 
has  long  been  known  as  "the  old  reliable." 

The  A'Cicspapcr  Union  a  few  years  since  had  this  concerning  the  present 
editor.  Bird  H.  Davis:  "He  was  born  in  Newport,  Indiana,  April  29,  1869. 
He  has  a  common  and  high  school  education.  He  did  his  first  work  at  the 
case  when  only  nine  years  of  age,  when  he  had  to  stand  on  a  box  to  reach  the 
case.  He  would  work  in  the  office  during  the  summer  months  and  go  to 
school  in  the  winter  time  until  1887,  when  he  became  foreman  of  the  ofifice, 
which  position  he  held  until  I\Iay  i,  1893,  when  he  became  manager  and  local 
editor,  and  has  served  in  that  capacity  until  the  ]jresent  day  (  1904).  He  is 
married  and  has  three  children." 

AMiat  was  styled  the  I'cniiillioti  Transcript  was  started  at  New]K)rt  in 
about  1872,  as  an  opposition  Democratic  organ.  b\-  Harrison  Junii).  who  ran 
it  fifteen  months,  sunk  one  thousand  nine  hundred  d(illars  and  then  sold  the 
plant,  which  was  moved  away. 


May  14,  1887.  the  first  ])aper  of  tlie  place  was  issued,  as  the  Cavnj/ci 
Journal.  James  E.  \\'hipple,  editor  and  proprietor.  The  second  paper  in  the 
village  was  the  Herald,  which  was  established  about  1889.  It  was  edited  by 
gentlemen  in  the  following  order,  as  near  as  can  now  be  determined :  E.  L. 
Hiberly,  then  Charles  E.  Cook,  who  sold  to  A.  C.  Confiff,  the  latter  conduct- 
ing the  pai)er  until  March  4,  1893,  when  it  passed  into  the  liands  of  Hemp- 
hill &  Huls:  Hemphill  remained  its  editor  until  June  2,  1894,  when  the  paper 
was  Ixiught  by  J.  Wallace  Miller,  and  was  then  imblished  by  the  Miller 
Brothers  till  January  i,  1904,  when  it  passed  to  its  present  owner  and  editor, 
A.  Carter  Hutchinson.  It  is  now  a  se^'en-column  folio,  all  home  print :  sub- 
scription price,  one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents,  and  in  politics  is  Democratic. 
The  printing  machinery  of  the  office  is  now  propelled  by  a  gasoline  engine. 

Through  the  kindness  of  the  present  editor  of  the  Cayuga  Herald  we  are 
in  possession  of  the  following  facts  concerning  other  new.spaper  ventures  at 
Cayuga.  A  cop}'  of  the  Cayuga  Times,  dated  September  5,  1889,  is  in  exist- 
ence. John  Wooldridge  was  its  editor.  The  Tribitnc.  another  local  paper  of 
the  \illage.  made  its  appearance  earl\'  in  the  nineties,  and  was  i)u])lished  l)v 
Boone  ("libbons.  Its  career  was  brief,  dying  for  lack  of  financial  support. 
Then  came  the  Blue  Pencil  by  "Bob"  Osborn.  It  was  conducted  a  short  time 
at  Cayuga  and  then  mox-ed  to  Perrysxille,  where  it  existed  for  about  two 
years  longer,  when  its  owner  moved  tlie  outfit  to  Clinton,  tin's  county. 



The  Nezt's-Letter,  Vermillion  county's  first  paper,  was  launched  at  Eu- 
gene in  1837  by  Dr.  R.  M.  Waterman  and  continued  there  six  months.  The 
plant  was  sold  to  J.  R.  Jones,  who  moved  to  Perrysville  and  there  published 
the  Perrysville  Banner.  T\\ o  )ears  later  Clapp  &  Roney  o\\ ned  the  paper  and 
called  it  the  Vermillion  Register.  It  was  next  the  Perrysville  Republican,  with 
Austin  Bishop  as  editor  and  proprietor.  R.  B.  Dickason  published  at  Perrys- 
\'ille  the  Eagle  in  the  years  from  1852  to  1855,  selling  out  to  a  Mr.  Robinson, 
and  he  to  Benjamin  Snodgrass,  who  finally  let  the  paper  go  down.  This  was 
the  earlier  and  later  history  of  journalism  in  Perrysville.  The  attempts  to 
make  a  success  of  the  Register  and  Banner  and  all  the  rest  proved  a  failure 
financially.  The  Democratic  organ,  the  Banner,  was  printed  on  a  press  first 
brought  to  Indiana  in  1804,  to  Vincennes,  whereon  the  Western  Sim  was  also 

From  the  files  of  the  old  Pcrrysiille  Banner  for  February.  1839,  the  fol- 
lowing interesting  items  have  been  extracted,  throwing  light  as  they  do  on 
men  and  customs  of  that  period: 

J.  R.  Jones  was  editor  and  proprietor.  This  is  the  twenty-fourth  number 
of  its  issue.  It  contains  five  columns  to  the  page  and  was  published  at  two 
dollars  a  year  if  paid  in  advance :  otherwise,  three  dollars.  The  number  con- 
tained a  large  amount  of  congressional  and  legislatixe  news  of  this  state  and 
but  ^ery  little  original  or  local  matter. 

Hiram  Barnes,  of  Perrysville,  advertises  for  a  "professional"  man  to 
take  charge  of  an  ox  team.  Fdmuud  James,  a  justice  of  the  peace,  of  Helt 
township,  publishes  an  attachment  notice,  on  the  affidavit  of  Silas  Rhodes, 
against  the  chattels  of  Simon  and  Martin  Gilbert.  The  name  of  Permelia 
Smith  appears  as  the  administratrix  of  the  estate  of  Daniel  Smith.  George  W. 
Palmer,  justice  of  the  peace,  notifies  the  readers  that  Fphraim  Driscol,  of 
Highland  township,  had  taken  up  an  estray  steer,  four  years  old,  which  was 
appraised  at  twelve  dollars  by  James  ^^'elch  and  Tom  Lowers.  James  Thomp- 
son, school  commissioner  of  the  county,  gives  fair  warning  that  he  will  sell 
fifteen  tracts  of  land  for  taxes,  if  not  paid  Ix^fore  the  day  of  sale.  S.  and  B. 
Turman  notify  the  people  where  they  can  procure  cheap  dry  goods,  etc.  Will- 
iam W'hipps  gives  notice  of  his  appointment  as  administrator  of  the  estate 
of  Thomas  J.  Reed,  lately  deceased.  Perrin  Kent  also  gives  notice  to  the 
effect  that  he  has  taken  out  letters  of  administration  on  the  estate  of  John 
Taylor,  late  of  Warren  county,  deceased.     The  widow  and  heirs  of  Jacob 


Parke  give  due  notice  that  the}-  wiU  make  application  to  the  next  court  to 
have  commissioners  appointed  to  assign  and  set  off  the  widow' s  dower,  in  the 
real  estate  of  said  deceased.  Dr.  Waterman  gives  notice  that  the  partnership 
heretofore  existing  betw^een  himself  and  Dr.  Small  is  dissolved.  Crawford  & 
Jackson,  proprietors  of  an  oil  mill,  advertise  that  they  will  gi\-e  the  highest 
price  for  flax  and  hemp  seed,  or  castor  beans.  George  W.  Palmer  offers  a  one- 
horse  wagon  and  harness  cheap  for  cash.  J.  \Y.  Downing,  justice  of  the  peace, 
gives  notice  that  an  iron  gray  mare  taken  up  by  James  Rush  was  appraised  by 
William  T.  Dole  and  A.  M.  H.  Robinson  at  forty-five  dollars  liefore  him  on 
November  24,  1838.  William  Bales,  sheriff,  ad\ertises  the  real  estate  of 
John  Fousdick  for  sale  at  public  auction  to  satisfy-  a  judgment  in  favor  of 
Silas  Kellough,  William  Dunning  and  I.  Dill.  Joshua  Skidmore,  of  Clinton, 
gives  notice  as  follows :  ''Whereas  my  w-ife,  Mary,  has  left  my  bed  and  board 
without  just  cause  or  provocation,  I  do  hereby  warn  all  ])ersons,  body  politic, 
or  corporate,  and  of  whatever  name  or  title,  not  to  credit  or  harbor  her  on  my 
account,  as  I  am  determined  not  to  pay  any  of  her  debts  after  this  date,  Janu- 
ary I,  1839."  The  names  of  Durham  Hood  and  Margaret  Craft  appear  as 
administrators  of  the  estate  of  John  Craft,  late  of  Eugene.  Roseberrv  & 
Jewett,  dry  goods  merchants,  of  I^errysville,  occupy  about  one-third  of  a 
column  in  enumerating  their  large  arri\-al  of  new  goods.  William  J.  Nichols 
and  James  IP  Corey,  of  Eugene,  inform  the  people  where  to  get  their  saddles 
and  cheap  harness.  Dr.  T.  S.  Davidson  tenders  his  professional  services  to 
the  citizens  of  Perrysville  and  adjoining  country.  Hall  &  Gessie  announce  the 
reception  of  new  goods  in  a  neat  two-inch  card.  Jones  &  Smith  call  attention 
in  a  four-inch  card  to  their  stock  of  fall  and  winter  goods.  Nathan  Reed  and 
J.  H,  McNutt  recjuest  that  those  indebted  to  them  for  professional  services 
come  forward  and  scjuare  up  by  cash  or  note  immediately.  Jacob  Riley  in- 
forms the  readers  that  he  has  found  a  silk  handkerchief  supposed  to  be  worth 
a  dollar  and  a  quarter,  which  the  owner  can  have  by  paying  for  the  adver- 
tisement. G.  ^^^  Palmer,  justice  of  the  peace,  gives  notice  that  John  Fultz 
has  taken  up  two  estray  heifers  which  w-ere  appraised  at  six  dollars  each,  by 
Samuel  Lacy  and  James  Crawford,  before  him  December  15,  1838. 


The  first  banking  house  established  in  Vermillion  county  was  the  First 
National  Bank,  at  Newport,  by  Josephus  and  John  Collett,  Abel  Sexton,  Isaac 
Porter,  R.  H.  Nixon  and  Clark  Leavitt,  who  opened  up  in  a  fine  new  bank 
building  erected  especially  for  that  purpose,  at  the  northwest  corner  of  the 
public  square.  It  was  not  long  before  it  surrendered  its  "national"  charter  and 
under  the  same  toard  of  directors,  it  was  changed  in  title  to  the  Vermillion 
County  Bank,  with  a  paid-up  capital  of  $60,000  and  a  surplus  of  over  $6,000. 
In  January,  1880.  it  was  again  changed,  taking  the  name  of  Collett  &  Com- 
pany's Bank,  comprising  Prof.  John  Collett,  of  Indianapolis,  Stephen  V.  Col- 
lett, of  Newport,  INIrs.  Henry  H.  Campbell,  of  Crawfordsville,  and  Joshua 
Jump  i)f  Newport.  Later,  S.  S.  Collett  became  general  manager  and  J.  D. 
Collett,  cashier,  and  the  capital  in  1887  was  $27,000.  This  bank  went  out  of 
business  in  1892. 

At  Clinton,  the  Citizens  Bank,  now  located  at  No.  141  Main  street,  was 
organized  in  April,  1893,  with  Decatur  Downing,  president:  \\'.  H.  Bonner, 
cashier.  Tlie  officers  in  191 2  were:  William  H.  Robinson,  president:  Will- 
iam L.  ;\Iorey,  vice-president:  A.  ^^^  Hedges,  cashier:  U.  G.  Wright,  assistant 
cashier.  The  capital  stock  is  now  $40,000.  having  been  increased  from  $22.- 
000.  The  bank  ]iurchased  a  business  block  on  the  west  side  of  Second  street 
(usually  called  Main  street),  which  they  have  occupied  a  number  of  years:  at 
first  they  were  located  on  the  east  side  of  the  same  street.  The  present  direc- 
tors of  this  institution  are  W.  H.  Robinson,  David  McBeth,  W.  L.  Morey,  M. 
M.  Scott  and  A.  W.  Hedges.  The  total  resources  of  the  bank  were,  in  the 
autumn  of  1912.  $407,535.93. 

At  the  close  of  business  November  26.  1912,  their  statement  to  the 
auditor  of  state  showed  the  following  figures : 

Loans  and  di.scounts $27,-.27,;^.yc)     Due  from  other  banks $112,740.00 

Overdrafts 129.23      Cash  on  hand 21,716.00 

U.  S.  bonds 10,000.00     Checks  and  drafts 494-25 

Other   bonds  and   securi-  Premiums  paid  on  bonds.           722.00 

ties 19,500.00  

Banking  bouse 5.000,00  Total  resources $407,535.93 


Capital  stock $  40,000.00     Demand   deposits $315,254.52 

Surplus    30.000.00     Demand  certificates 14,488.04 

L'ndivided  profits 3,700.00  

Exchange,  discounts,  etc.       4,093.37  Total  liabilities $407,535.93 

The  First  National  Bank  at  Clinton  was  organized  in  December,  1902, 
by  L.  A.  Whitcomb.  The  officers  were:  James  H.  Wilson,  president;  Ed- 
ward Shirke,  vice-president;  J.  Clark  Smith,  cashier.  The  present  and  first 
capital  of  this  institution  was  $30,000.  The  present  officers  are:  Joseph  \V. 
Strain,  president;  Edward  Shirke,  vice-president;  O.  V.  Houston,  cashier. 
The  directors  are:  Edward  Shirke,  Harmon  K.  Morgan,  Frank  L.  Swine- 
hart,  B.  H.  Morgan,  Joseph  W.  Strain,  John  R.  Newton,  Hal  R.  McClellan. 
The  November  statement  of  this  bank  shows  the  following : 

Loans  and  discounts $188,373.36      Capital  paid  in $  30,000.00 

Overdrafts    146.95      Surplus    11,000.00 

U.  S.  bonds 7,500.00      Undivided  profits 3,902.49 

Other  bonds 14,000.00      Circulation    7,500.00 

Bank   furniture    and    fix-  Deposits    284.014.39 

tures    12,000.00 

Due  from  banks  and  U.  S  94,312.16 

Cash  in  vault 20,084.35 

Total    resources    $336,416.88  Total  liabilities $336,416.88 

The  First  National  Bank  of  Dana  was  organized  in  1901,  with  the  same 
officers  as  are  still  serving:  S.  E.  Scott,  president;  S.  J.  Hall,  vice-president; 
Charles  Wolfe,  cashier;  S.  E.  Scott,  S.  J.  Hall,  Charles  Wolfe,  T.  H.  Catlin. 
J.  Jump,  Joel  Hollingsworth,  S.  E.  Kaufman,  Josepli  Jackson  and  J.  H. 
Fillinger,  directors. 

This  bank  commenced  with  a  capital  of  $25,000,  which  has/ljeen  increased 
to  $40,000.     Their  statement  September  4,  1912,  reads  as  follows: 

Loans  and  discounts $192,039.72     Capital  stock $  40,000.00 

Overdrafts 2,382,46     Surplus  fund 30,000.00' 

United   States  bonds 25,000.00     LTndivided  profits 1,630.89 

Other  bonds   8,900.00  National  bank  notes — out     25,000.00 

Inirniture  and  fixtures,    __      1,908.27     Ihipaid  dividends 262.00 

Cash  and  exchange 118,066.96      Deposits    251,404.52 

Total  resources $348,297.41  Total  liabilities $348,297.41 


Not  receiving  the  regular  data  for  the  State  Bank  of  Dana,  the  author 
has  gathered  tlie  following  concerning  this  institution.  This  bank  was  or- 
ganized in  1885  and  incorporated  in  1905.  Its  present  capital  is  $30,000; 
surplus  and  undivided  profits,  $14,000. 

The  First  National  Bank  of  Cayuga  was  organized  August  i,  1908, 
when  they  erected  their  own  bank  building.  This  hank  was  established  im- 
mediately after  the  failure  of  the  private  bank  of  Malone  &  Son.  It  now  has 
a  capital  of  §25,000,  with  $9,000  additional  as  a  surplus,  making  $34,000  of 
a  working  capital.  The  first  officers  were  Oscar  O.  Hamilton  and  Matthew  P. 
Hoo\er.  The  jiresent  officials  are :  Oscar  O.  Hamilton,  president ;  Henry  C. 
Randall,  vice-president;  Matthew  P.  Hoover,  cashier.  The  present  (1912) 
stockholders  are  Milton  W.  Coffin,  William  T.  Coffin,  Samuel  Collison,  Oscar 
O.  Hamilton,  Matthew  P.  Hoover,  Monroe  G.  Hosford,  Henry  C.  Randolph, 
George  L.  Watson.  William  H.  Roach.  At  the  close  of  business  June  7,  1911, 
the  following  was  the  statement  made  by  this  bank : 

Loans    $100,326.99      Capital  stock $  25,000.00 

U.  S.  bonds  to  secure  cir-  Surplus    3,000.00 

culation    25,000.00      Undivided  profits 4,328.23 

Bonds  and  securities 13,991.47      Circulation    24,990.00 

Banking  house,    furniture  Reserved  for  taxes 304.16 

and  fixtures 8.000.00     Deposits 125,460.55 

Cash    on    hand    and    due 

from  hanks 34,514.48 

Due  from  V.  S.  treasurer 

(5   iier  cent,    fund) 1,250.00 

Total  resources $183,082.94  Total  liabilities $183,082.94 

The  Citizens  State  Bank  of  Newport  was  organized  in  December,  1904. 
in  which  year  tliey  purchased  the  building  in  which  they  are  still  located.  It 
was  organized  by  the  citizens  of  Newport  and  vicinity,  who  felt  the  need  of 
a  second  bank  at  the  county  seat  town.  The  first  officers  were :  Maurice 
Hegerty,  president;  William  P.  Bell,  cashier.  There  were  originallv  fortv- 
four  stockholders  and  the  capital  was  $25,000.  The  present  officers  are: 
Maurice  Hegerty,  president;  V.  N.  Asbury,  cashier.  The  present  board 
of  directors  are  A.  R.  Newlin.  Guy  F.  Newlin,  C.  P.  Potts,  Silas  V.  Morgan, 
M.  L.  Holt,  Maurice  Hegerty,  E.  B.  Brown  and  Charles  M.  Fultz. 

R.  H.  Nixon  &  Company's  Bank,  at  Newport,  was  organized  in  1872. 
with  R.  H.  Nixon  as  its  president.     The  same  year  in  which  the  l)ank  was 


Started  a  bank  building  was  erected,  and  in  1892  the  bank  was  partly  burned, 
causing  a  loss  of  $1,500  above  the  insurance  collected.  In  1886  the  bank 
had  its  safe  blown  open,  but  the  robbers  did  not  succeed  in  entering  the  inner 
chest,  hence  the  loss  was  only  $750.  Its  present  capital  is  $30,000,  with  sur- 
plus amounting  to  $15,000.  The  officers  now  are:  R.  H.  Xixon,  president: 
H.  V.  Nixon,  cashier:  B.  R.  Nixon,  assistant  cashier. 



Before  the  introduction  of  canals  and  railroads,  or  even  before  wagon 
roads  had  been  provided,  the  Wabash  valley  was  the  center  of  attraction, 
for  the  Wabash  river  was  the  only  means  of  transportation  of  products